Birda Logo

Tawny Grassbird

Cincloramphus timoriensis

The Tawny Grassbird, a member of the Locustellidae family, is a robust songbird often seen flitting through grasslands and reedbeds. It boasts a streaked appearance above with a rich brown cap that is quite distinctive. Below, its plumage is paler, complemented by a long, graduated tail that it carries with a certain elegance.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Tawny Grassbird, look for its unstreaked rufous cap and the rufous fringes on the flight feathers of its folded wing. The bird's underparts are unstreaked, and it has a long, drooping tail and rufous rump. The male's varied song is a helpful identifier, especially during display flights or when sung from exposed perches in the spring and summer months.


The Tawny Grassbird is typically found in coastal lowlands within Australia, favoring rank grasslands, sedges, reeds, and rushes, often near wetlands. An isolated population has been discovered in Alice Springs, suggesting some adaptability in habitat preference.


This species has a broad distribution, with 10 identified subspecies across Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines. In Australia, it is mainly found in the northern and eastern regions.


The Tawny Grassbird is known for its active feeding on insects and its rich and varied vocalizations. It is also recognized for its nesting habits, constructing well-hidden grass cups for its eggs.

Song & Calls

The Tawny Grassbird's vocal repertoire includes loud, grumpy churring calls and a longer call that starts with a series of ticks and ends with an explosive descending trill. In flight, it emits a metallic chucking sound. Its alarm call is a harsh, repeated "tjik" or "jk-jk."


Nesting within long grass, the Tawny Grassbird lays clutches of 3 freckled reddish eggs in well-concealed grass cups, keeping its future progeny hidden from potential predators.

Similar Species

The Tawny Grassbird can be distinguished from the related Little Grassbird by its larger size, stouter bill, more rufous plumage, and longer tail.

Diet and Feeding

Insects form the primary diet of the Tawny Grassbird, which it actively forages for amongst the grasses of its habitat.

Conservation Status

The Tawny Grassbird is currently classified as Least Concern due to its extensive range and stable population. Although the exact population size is not quantified, it is not believed to be close to the thresholds for Vulnerable. However, there is some concern about population declines due to the persistent grazing of tall grasses, which are crucial to the bird's habitat.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Tawny Grassbirds on Birda


More Grassbirds & Allies

A photo of a Brown Songlark (Cincloramphus cruralis) , male

Brown Songlark

Cincloramphus cruralis
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
Fantastic App
This is a really lovely app, for everyone interested in birds - from newbies to old hands. There is a very friendly feel to the community and you will genuinely learn a lot as you record your sightings and photos. There are lots of badges and competitions to keep you engaged, and a host of really useful features.
Such a great app!
I didn’t think I could enjoy birding more but this app makes it so much better. Some great features and a really great way to share your sightings with your friends or fellow birders nearby or around the world! ❤️
Patricia L
Very encouraging birding app
Easy to use, fun to see progress and encouraging to receive feedback from other users.
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
Learning Birding with Birda
I’m relatively new to birding as a hobby, and Birda is a great way to keep track off all the species I see. I’m still working on my ID skills, but the app is great for figuring out potential species, and the online community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend Birda to both early and serious birders! 🐦
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Birda fan
I really enjoy using Birda, all sightings are recorded and photos can be added. There are monthly challenges which help to get you out to record your sightings. The Birda community are great and are happy to help with unidentified bird sightings. Suitable for all ages and experience!
Hip An
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved