The Yellow-bellied (Chinese) Prinia (Prinia flaviventris sonitans) is fairly common in the right habitat in Taiwan. I found the birds in Taiwan quite different from the ones seen back home (Prinia flaviventris rafflesi). I am not sure the name “Yellow-bellied” is that appropriate as the Taiwan subspecies (Prinia flaviventris sonitans) has more of a yellow-tawny colouration that is more prominent on the sides of the belly and flanks (Post 1 & 2); the center of the breast is pale and there is no clear yellow demarcation as in P. f. rafflesi or P. f. flaviventris. (Note the Yellow-bellied Prinia in Borneo, P. f. latrunculus, has even less yellow and is sometimes called the Bornean Prinia). The tail also looked considerably longer (Post 1 & 2) and the song is different (sonogram & waveform in Post 4; edited audio recording here: https://soundcloud.com/amar-singh-hss/yellow-bellied-chinese-prinia-prinia-flaviventris-sonitans).
HBW 2019 separates these birds and calls the Taiwan species (also found in North East Vietnam and South China) the Chinese Prinia (Prinia sonitans).
Most authorities prefer Yellow-bellied Prinia (Prinia flaviventris sonitans):
- The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World 4th Edition
- International Ornithologists’ Union (IOC) World Bird List 2018, version 8.2
- OBI (also indicates that this subspecies is also called the Chinese Prinia)
- eBird & Clements Checklist of the Birds of the World 2018 label it Yellow-bellied Prinia (Chinese) (Prinia flaviventris sonitans)
Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr) – Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Location: Dayuan Township, Taoyuan City County, Taiwan
Habitat: Wetlands farming area near the sea
Date: 19th January 2019
Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone