Graceful prinia

Graceful prinia
Prinia gracilis
Photo by Rajiv Lather (Birding in India and South Asia)

Common name:
graceful prinia (en); fuinha-elegante (pt); prinia gracile (fr); prinia graciosa (es); streifenprinie (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Cisticolidae

This species is a resident breeder in north-eastern Africa and south-west Asia, from Egypt and Somalia, through the Middle East and Turkey, and into Pakistan and northern India.

Graceful prinias are 10-11 cm long and have a wingspan of 12-13 cm. They weigh 6,5-7,5 g.


This species breeds in dry and wet areas of bushes and tall grass, and often on the banks of rivers, ponds and ditches. They use cultivated areas as well as dense undergrowth, tamarisk, reeds and rushes.

The graceful prinia is mostly insectivorous, taking insects and caterpillars from the ground, foliage or in flight. They often feed grasshoppers to fledglings.

These birds mostly breed in March-July. They build an oval dome-shaped structure made of dry grasses, leaves, strips of bark, rootlets, and occasionally, cobwebs, lined with finer materials. The nest is placed on the ground within low vegetation or bushes. The female lays 3-5 very light pink eggs with reddish brown spots, which are incubated by both parents for 11-13 days. The chicks are mostly fed by the male, while the female is already preparing for another brood. The chicks fledge 13-14 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and, although the global population size has not been quantified, the European population, in Turkey, equates to 3.000-12.000 individuals and represents less than 5% of its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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