• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Great Parrotbill - BirdForum Opus

Photo by johnjemi
Wanglang, Sichuan, China, November 2007
Conostoma aemodium


27.5 - 28.5cm. The largest parrotbill.

  • Plain vinous-brown plumage
  • Rather long pale orange-yellow bill
  • Dark face with pale yellow eyes and pale greyish forehead
  • Rufescent-brown secondaries and wing-coverts
  • Grey primaries and tail

Sexes similar, juveniles are slightly more rufescent above.


Found from north India east along the Himalayas over Nepal, Bhutan and northeast India to adjacent Tibet. Disjunctly also in central China (Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Yunnan) and eastern part of northern Burma.
Generally scarce in its range.


This is a monotypic species[1].

As the genus name is also used for an insect some authorities propose a new genus name, Enendrozdovoma. However, this is not yet accepted by any of the World Checklists.
The scientific name is sometimes also spelled oemodium, the genus Conostama.


Bamboo forest, open broadleaf forest and scrub. Found at 2700 - 3360m in the Himalayas, 2000 - 3000m in China. In winter also lower.


Usually seen in pairs or small groups, often together with laughingthrushes or other babblers in bird waves.


Feeds on green bamboo shoots, seeds, wild raspberries and insects. Forages mostly low or on the ground.


Breeding season from May to July in India. The nest is a regular hemisperhical cup made of grasses and strips of bamboo leaves. It's placed in a bamboo clump. Lays 2 - 3 eggs.
Resident species with some minor local movements in winter.


Great Parrotbill with Spotted Laughingthrush, Recorded by china guy, Sichuan, China, August 2011


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553422
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

Recommended Citation

External Links