Plain Prinia

Plain Prinia  Prinia  inornata


  • Prinia : Javanese name Prinyafor the Prinia
  • Inornata: Latin word for “plain”

Vernacular Names:  Hindi: Phutki, Te: Lota-kun-jitta, Pun: Piddi, M.P.: Chitakul, Lepcha: Niongpho, Ta: Tina-kuruvi, Te: Chit-kuruvi, Mal: Vayalkuruvi, Kan: Uliyakki, Sinh: Hambu-kurulla, Guj: Pan fadakfutki, Mar: SadhaVatvatya

Distribution in India: Resident across India except for higher Himalayas

Description: Size of 12-13 cm. In breeding plumage, pale grey-brown above, upper wing-coverts and tertials edged light greyish to pale rufous, tail feathers becoming progressively paler towards outermost, which is almost whitish; very pale below, almost whitish, with faint buffy-yellow wash on flanks and thighs and sometimes (in very fresh plumage) across breast; bill and interior of mouth black.. The Non-breeding plumage has buffy-white lores and narrow eye ring, fairly clear short whitish Supercilium (to just behind eye); crown, ear-coverts and entire upperparts, including upper wing, warm brown, wing feathers with rufous edgings; tail dark brown, outer feathers with distinct dark sub-terminal mark and buff tip; strongly washed with warm buff below, becoming whiter on chin and belly center; iris orange-yellow to reddish orange; upper mandible horn-brown, lower mandible flesh-coloured; legs brownish yellow Sexes similar. Both the sexes are similar.The juvenile resembles breeding adult in tail length, but has more rufous-brown upperparts and softer plumage. Racial variation is complex, generally involving differences in colour saturation of both non-breeding (winter) and breeding (summer) plumages, North populations tending to have longer tail in non-breeding plumage as well as most marked colour differences between the two seasonal plumages: race terricolor( North West India) non-breeding has entire upperparts rufous-brown, brightest on rump and uppertail-coverts, tail is very long and with indistinctsubterminal and terminal markings, in breeding plumage tail is much shorter; racefusca( North East India) is darker, with rich rufous upperparts and richer buff underparts in non-breeding, a little darker and browner in breeding plumage; race franklinii (South West India)is darker and browner than nominate in all plumages, tail is especially dark, with bold blackish subterminal marks and sometimes white tips on outermost feathers.

Habitat: It is found in scrubby grassland in variety of situations, from salt marshes to reed beds, bamboo thickets, cultivated crops especially wheat and overgrown gardens; in general prefers damper habitats

Food Habits: It eats small invertebrates, chiefly insects and their larvae, and small spiders, also eats flower nectar. Usually singly or in pairs. Although not shy, is generally unobtrusive, keeping low in vegetation. It forages close to ground, climbing up stalks or inside bushes, gleaning insects from both leaves and ground.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Jun–Oct monsoon in North India and Mar–Jul in South India. Male attracts the female by intense singing, in horizontal stance with head thrown back, tail fanned, and wings being opened and shut. They sometimes takes to air in jerky, undulating song flight. Sexes share in nest-building, nest remarkably variable in shape and structure, normally unlined, the most frequent a pear-shaped or oval pouch of loosely interwoven grass strips, entrance hole at side near top (sometimes entrance concealed); another nest type more open at top and with cobwebs and vegetable down woven into it; may be attached to strong upright stems . Rarer type of nest is built between two or more large leaves stitched around edges with fine fibers; nest typically hidden low in isolated bush in open grassy country, such as embankment of paddy field or by cultivated field. They lay a clutch 3–6 eggs. Incubation done by both sexes for a  period 11 or 12 days. The nests is parasitized by Plaintive Cuckoo. They raise three broods per season.