Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica

Anand Krishnan and Steve Madge
Version: 2.0 — Published September 17, 2020


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Breeding season varies geographically and across different subspecies. In P. s. gangetica, generally breeds from March to October, but mostly during the Southwest monsoons between June and September. Nominate P. s. sylvatica breeds from April to September, but mostly from April-May in the south and June-September in the north. Once recorded in nesting in December (1). In Sri Lanka, the breeding season of P. s. valida is ill-defined; they have multiple broods through the year, but apparent peaks in breeding occurs in March-May and July-September (1).

Nest Site

Site Characteristics

Nests in grass or low bushes, usually within a meter from the ground (1).


Structure and Composition

A round or oval ball of grass, held together with spider webs and vegetable down, and lined with grass on the inside. In Sri Lanka, sometimes a cup or purse-shaped nest. Blades of surrounding grass may be incorporated into the nest, presumably for structural support (1, 8).



Average size eggs 17.5 X 12.8 mm (n = 100; 8).


Varies from gray-green to buff or pinkish. Reddish or red-brown speckling on eggs, described as forming a ring around the broader end (1). In rare cases, eggs may be unspotted bluish or white.

Clutch Size

Usually ranges from 3-5 eggs, but typically 4 eggs (1, 8).


Incubation Period

12 days (10).

Parental Behavior

Both sexes incubate.


No information.

Young Birds

Young broadly resemble summer adults, but with a pale-yellow cast to the underparts (1).

Parental Care

Both parents feed the young and assist in parental care (1).

Cooperative Breeding

No information.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

Identity of Parasitic Species

No published information, but the author has observed this species participating in mobbing of cuckoos such as Common Hawk-Cuckoo (Hierococcyx varius) and Gray-bellied Cuckoo (Cacomantis passerinus) (AK). The latter is known to parasitize congeners (11), and further research may reveal brood parasitism of the Jungle Prinia as well.

Fledgling Stage

No published information.

Immature Stage

See plumage descriptions. No further detailed information.

Recommended Citation

Krishnan, A. and S. Madge (2020). Jungle Prinia (Prinia sylvatica), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.junpri1.02