All Birds Wiki
File:African Bush-warbler (Bradypterus baboecala), dorsal side view.jpg
African Bush-warbler
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Sylvioidea
Family: Locustellidae
Genus: Bradypterus
Swainson, 1837

More than 20, but see text

Bradypterus is a genus of small insectivorous songbirds ("warblers") in the newly recognized grass warbler family (Locustellidae). They were formerly placed in the Sylviidae, which at that time was a wastebin taxon for the warbler-like Sylvioidea. The range of this genus extends through the warm regions from Africa around the Indian Ocean and far into Asia.

The megalurid bush-warblers are related to the grass-warblers of Locustella and Megalurus, but share lifestyle and related adaptations and apomorphies with Cettia, the other genus of bush-warblers. These belong to an older lineage of Sylvioidea. Both "bush-warbler" genera are smallish birds well adapted to glimbing among shrubbery. They are markedly long-tailed birds, at first glance somewhat reminiscent of wrens.

These are quite terrestrial birds, which live in densely vegetated habitats like thick forest and reedbeds. The will walk away from disturbance rather than flush. The plumage similarities and skulking lifestyle makes these birds hard to see and identify.

Megalurid bush-warblers tend towards greyish browns above and buffish or light grey tones below. They have little patterning apart from the ubiquitous supercilium. Altogether, they appear much like the plainer species among Acrocephalus marsh-warblers in coloration. Cettid bush-warblers tend to be somewhat more compact, with less pointed tails, but are otherwise very similar.


This genus is in need of revision. Victorin's Scrub-warbler, "Bradypterus" victorini, does not belong into that genus. In fact, it seems to belong into a distinct family not even closely related to Bradypterus, and including such birds as the crombecs (Sylvietta) and longbills (Macrosphenus). A new genus would need to be established for Victorin's Scrub-warbler, but this has not happened yet.[1] The Sri Lanka Bush Warbler is sometimes placed in this genus but is now placed in its own, montotypic genus Elaphrornis.

Others, like the Chestnut-backed Bush-warbler and the Chinese Bush-warbler, appear to belong in Locustella.


  1. ^ Beresford et al. (2005)


Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Please help by writing it in the style of All Birds Wiki!