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a genus of birds of the family Sylviidae. The birds are 13–14 cm long and have a thin bill. The back plumage is various shades of brown, and the breast and throat of some species are mottled. There are 18 species, distributed in tropical Africa and Asia. The birds are encountered in southern Siberia, China, the Himalayas, Burma, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Three species are found in the USSR, inhabiting high grasses and thickets on the edges of forests. The birds are very shy. They build their nests in shrubs or in branches broken by the wind. A clutch contains three to six eggs. The birds feed on insects and spiders.