Tawny-flanked Prinias are small birds, weighing less than 10g but (thanks to their long tails) attaining a length of around 13cm. They are usually seen in pairs or small family groups, and inhabit dense grass and shrubbery, often along water courses and in gardens. They feed almost entirely on insects and other invertebrates.
Excluding the harshest parts of winter, Tawny-flanked Prinias breed almost throughout the year. Pairs are monogamous and weave a pear-shaped nest low in a shrub, often over water. The clutch of 2-5 eggs are incubated over a period of 2 weeks by both parents, and the hatchlings leave the nest by the time they’re 2 to 3 weeks old.
With a very wide distribution across most of sub-Saharan Africa, the IUCN considers the Tawny-flanked Prinia to be of least concern. In South Africa this species can be found in the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and parts of the Free State and North West.