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What is a Prinia?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Prinia is a genus, or group of species, of birds belonging to the passerine or Old World warbler family. These fowl are primarily small songbirds that live in open areas of Africa and Asia. They have a long, thin beaks and tails, and short wings. They are insectivorous birds, which means that they dine primarily on insects.

These birds may be anywhere from four to six inches (10.16 to 15.24 cm) in length, including their tails. This tail is usually held upright and is slightly tapered on the end. The beak of a prinia is also long, thin, and slightly pointed at the end, to aid in collecting insects from the ground. The wings are usually very short in proportion to the rest of the body, but are generally rather round.

Prinia are usually brown or gray in color. They may have a white or cream-colored chest and belly. The darker feathers can appear to have streaks in them. This helps in camouflaging these birds in their natural habitat, which mainly consists of brushy areas and grasslands.

The legs of this type of bird are usually also long and thin. They may have toes that are fairly short and somewhat curved. This aids them in perching on the limbs of small trees or on top of bushes.

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As these wren-warblers are generally found in warm climates, they typically do not migrate. When they do move, they may travel singly, in pairs, or in small groups. It is typically only short distances, whenever this movement does happen.

Both male and female prinia are usually similarly marked. When these birds choose a mate, they typically do so for life. A female generally lays between two and six eggs in her nest. This home is usually made directly on the ground in an area of heavy brush. Both male and female birds care for the young from the time they are hatched until they learn to fly at around two weeks of age.

Since these birds are considered to be part of the Old World warbler family, they are often known for their pleasant singing. Prinia can also help control insects in the areas they inhabit. People who attract these wren-warblers to their backyards should take care to see that their nests, as well as the fledgling birds, are protected from predators, like cats. This is so they can enjoy the beautiful sounds they make while taking advantage of their natural pest-controlling abilities.

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