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The brown-flanked bush warbler (Horornis fortipes)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Cettiidae
Genus: Horornis
Hodgson, 1845
Type species
Horornis fortipes
Hodgson, 1845

See text

Horornis is a genus of small insectivorous songbirds ("warblers") which make up the core of the newly recognized family Cettiidae. 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 occurs from southeast Asia throughout the western Pacific. The most recently described species is the Bougainville bush warbler (Horornis haddeni) from Bougainville Island.

These typical bush warblers share the lifestyle and related adaptations and apomorphies with Bradypterus, the other genus called bush warblers. However, Bradypterus is related to the grass warblers of Locustella and Megalurus and is more distant from Cettia. Both "bush warbler" genera are smallish birds well adapted to climbing 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 such as thick forest and reedbeds. They will walk away from disturbance rather than flush. The plumage similarities and skulking lifestyle makes these birds hard to see and identify.

These bush warblers tend towards rich or 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. Megalurid bush warblers tend to be somewhat slimmer and have a very long and pointed tail, but are otherwise very similar.


This genus has been split from the genus Cettia. Cetti's warbler (C. cetti), the previous type species, seems close to the genus Tesia from Southeast Asia and neighboring regions. Birds in the genus Horornis, such as the famous uguisu (鶯, Japanese bush warbler, H. diphone) and the brown-flanked bush warbler (H. fortipes) belong to a group that might include the aberrant broad-billed warbler (Tickellia hodgsoni). This latter species differs wildly in its gaudy colors but in habitus is a typical "bush warbler".[1]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Manchurian bush warbler Horornis canturians northeastern China.
Japanese bush warbler Horornis diphone Japan
Philippine bush warbler Horornis seebohmi Philippines.
Palau bush warbler Horornis annae Palau.
Shade bush warbler Horornis parens Solomon Islands
Bougainville bush warbler Horornis haddeni Bougainville Island in the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea
Fiji bush warbler Horornis ruficapilla Fiji.
Tanimbar bush warbler Horornis carolinae Yamdena
Brown-flanked bush warbler Horornis fortipes South Asia
Aberrant bush warbler Horornis flavolivaceus southern China, and the northern extremes of Myanmar and Vietnam
Yellow-bellied bush warbler Horornis acanthizoides mainland China and Taiwan
Hume's bush warbler Horornis brunnescens Himalayas of Nepal and India.


  1. ^ Alström et al. (2006), Fuchs et al. (2006)


  • Alström, P.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Olsson, U. & Sundberg, P. (2006): Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 38(2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015 PMID 16054402 PDF fulltext
  • del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (eds.) (2006): Handbook of Birds of the World (Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers). Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-96553-06-X
  • Fuchs, J.; Fjeldså, J.; Bowie, R.C.K.; Voelker, G. & Pasquet, E. (2006): The African warbler genus Hyliota as a lost lineage in the Oscine songbird tree: Molecular support for an African origin of the Passerida. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 39(1): 186–197. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.07.020 (HTML abstract)
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