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Pale-billed Parrotbill - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 14:22, 10 May 2015 by Wintibird (talk | contribs) (picture replaced)
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Alternative names: Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill; Black-browed Crowtit; Lesser Red-headed Parrotbill; Lesser Red-headed Suthora; Black-browed Parrotbill

ssp oatesi
Photo by wintibird
Eaglenest WS, Arunachal Pradesh, NE India, April 2015
Chleuasicus atrosuperciliaris


15cm. A distinctive parrotbill:

  • Bright rufous head with distinctly peaked crown
  • Short black eyebrow
  • Pale bluish lores
  • Narrow eye-ring
  • Plain olive-brown above with rufescent wings
  • Buffy to white below
  • Deep based, pink bill

Sexes similar, juveniles are slightly more rufous above.

Similar species

Very similar to Rufous-headed Parrotbill but smaller, short black eyebrow, bill deeper-based and more pink.


Found from Sikkim (India) east to Bhutan, northeast India, Burma, extreme northwest Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and south China (Yunnan).
Generally rather uncommon.


There are 2 subspecies:

  • C. a. atrosuperciliaris in northeast India, north and southeast Burma, extreme northwest Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and south China (Yunnan)
  • C. a. oatesi in India (Sikkim and West Bengal), Bhutan and west and central Arunachal Pradesh

This species was formerly placed in genus Paradoxornis.


Bamboo in or near broadleaf evergreen forest, tall grass and forest edge. Found at 550 - 2100m.


Usually seen in groups of 6 to 12 birds often together with White-hooded Babbler and Rufous-headed Parrotbill. Often hangs upside-down.
Resident species but some food-related movements possible.


Feeds on small seeds and insects.


Breeding season from April to July in India. The nest is a deep cup-shaped structure made of fine shreds of grass, bark and bamboo leaves. It's placed within 2m of the ground in reeds or among cluster of twigs growing from bamboo node. Lays 3 eggs.


  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. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553453
  3. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

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