Finches & Softbills

Paradoxornis or Suthora

Paradoxornis or Suthora



Basic Keeping

My Experiences






after Howard and Moore (A complete checklist of the birds of the world)
Updated August 1999


Panurinae (Parrotbills)

Bearded reedling (Panurus biarmicus)
P.b. biarmicus England, S&E Europe
P.b. occidentalis Balkans
P.b. russicus E Europe, Russia, Iran, Manchuria

Great parrotbill (Conostoma oemodium)
Himalayas, NE Burma, SE Tibet, SW China
Description : large yellowish bill which is longer than that of the 'real' parrotbills. Upperparts light greenish brown, forehead greyish white, between eye and beak dark brown, lower parts light greybrown.

Three-toed parrotbill (Paradoxornis paradoxus)
P.p. paradoxus NW China
P.p. taipaiensis Shensi

Brown parrotbill (Paradoxornis unicolor)
E Himalayas, N Burma, SE Tibet, SW China
Description : beak yellow, head brown with white eyering and long black eyebrow. Head, throat and chest have stripes, long tail.

Gould's parrotbill (Paradoxornis flavirostris)
E Himalayas, W Burma
Description : 18 cm in size. Upper parts dark redbrown, lower parts between whiteish and light brown. Black spots around the eyes, on the throat and ears. Cap dark redbrown, throat white, black chestband.
Lives hidden in small groups in the grasses.

Spot-breasted parrotbill (Paradoxornis guttaticollis)
Assam to N Indochina
Description : 20 cm. Beak yellowish, ears black, throat and breast spotted, lower parts lighter brown than upper parts. Cap redbrown.
Can be found in small groups together with Garrulax ruficollis. Are found between 1500 and 2100 meters. The nest is made in bamboobushes of grasses and bambooleaves, about 90 to 180 cm above the ground. They also use spider threads to strengthen the nest. 2-3 witheish to greenish eggs with creme to brown spots, size about 22.2 x 16.4 mm. Breeding time 10-12 days.

Spectacled parrotbill (Paradoxornis conspicillatus)
P.c. conspicillatus WC China
P.c. rocki Hupeh

Yunnan parrotbill (Paradoxornis ricketti)
NW Yunnan
Description : 10 cm.
Behaviour like webbianus

Brown-headed/Vinous-throated parrotbill (Paradoxornis webbianus)
P.w. mantschuricus E Manchuria
P.w. suffusus NW to SE China
P.w. fulvicauda NE China, S Korea
P.w. webbianus coast of S Kiangsu, N Chekiang
P.w. bulomachus Taiwan
P.w. elisabethae SE Yunnan
P.w. brunneus NE Burma, NW Yunnan
Description : 10-12 cm in size, completly brown with reddish parts on the wings, lower parts more olive brown. Head redbrown, throat lighter. Throat and chest striped with darker redbrown.
3-4 blueish eggs, live on mountian slopes in the bushes and high grass. Live in small flocks which constantly make noises.

Ashy-throated parrotbill (Paradoxornis alphonsianus)
P.a. alphonsianus WC China
P.a. yunnanensis SE Yunnan, NW Vietman
Description : 11-12 cm in size. Looks like webbianus but sides of the head and neck are brownish grey. Throat and chest whiteish and spotted grey. Cap redbrown.
Behaviour like webbianus

Zappey's parrotbill (Paradoxornis zappeyi)
W Szechwan

Grey-crowned parrotbill (Paradoxornis przewalskii)
S Kansu

Fulvous-fronted parrotbill (Paradoxornis fulvifrons)
P.f. chayulensis N Assam, SE Tibet
P.f. fulvifrons Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan
P.f. albifacies NW Yunnan, SE Sikang
P.f. cyanophrys NW Szechwan, SW Shensi
Description : Upper head bright orangebrown, throat and breast marked with long broad grey band. Wings redbrown with white ends. Lower parts greyish with some brown, belly greyish white. Under the tail brownish.

Blyth's parrotbill (Paradoxornis nipalensis)
P.n. nipalensis C Nepal
P.n. humii E Nepal, Sikkim
P.n. crocotius SE Tibet, E Buthan
P.n. poliotis Assam, NE Burma, NW Yunnan
P.n. patriciae SE Assam
P.n. ripponi Mt Victoria, N Burma
P.n. feae SE Burma, NW Thailand
P.n. verreauxi E.Sikang, SW Szechwan
P.n. pallidus NW Fukien
P.n. morrisonianus Taiwan
P.n. beaulieu N Laos
P.n. craddocki NW Vietnam
Description : 10 cm in size, poliotis has an orange colored upper-head while the nominate has a grey upper-head. Wings are spotted chestnut brown, throat black, white moustache.
They are found between 1500 till 2600 meters, breeding period between Mai and June, nests are made at a height of 60-80 cm above the ground, made between bamboo. Are found in large groups.

David's/Short-tailed parrotbill (Paradoxornis davidianus)
P.d. davidianus Fukien
P.d. tonkinensis N Vietnam
P.d. thompsoni E Burma, NW Laos, E Thailand
Description : Head chestnutbrown, throat black, no facial markings. Breast grey, belly cinnamon. Tail shorter than other species.

Lesser Red-headed parrotbill (Paradoxornis atrosuperciliaris)
P.a. oatesi W Bengal, Sikkim
P.a. atrosuperciliaris Assam, N Burma, N Laos, W Yunnan
Description : Black eyebrow is short, head orangebrown, throat whitish. Upper parts olive brown, lower parts brownish.

Greater Red-headed parrotbill (Paradoxornis ruficeps)
P.r. ruficeps E Himalayas
P.r. bakeri Assam, N&E Burma
P.r. magnirostris N Vietnam
Description : Looks like atrosuperciliaris but lacks the black eyebrow and is larger.

Grey-headed parrotbill (Paradoxornis gularis)
P.g. gularis E Himalayas, N Assam
P.g. transfluvialis S Assam, N&E Burma, NW Thailand
P.g. laotianus E Burma, N Thailand, N Indochina
P.g. fokiensis Fukien, Anhwei
P.g. hainanus Hainan I
P.g. rasus Chin hills, W Burma
P.g. margaritae S Vietnam
Description : 16 cm in size. Upper parts, tail and wings brown. Upper head and neck grey. Chin, forehead and eye stripe black, white moustache. Around the eye is a broad white circle which extends till the heavy orange beak. Lower parts whiteish.
They are found between 900 and 1500 meters, breeding period from April till June, the nest is made in a vork of a tree branch at a height of 8-10 meters above the ground, 2-3 eggs which are cremy colored with brownish spots or bluegrey with brownish spots.

Heude's parrotbill (Paradoxornis heudei)
P.h. heudei Kiangsu, C China
P.h. polivanovi Lake Khanka, USSR
Description : 18 cm in size.
4-5 eggs


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