Leaf warbler

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Leaf warblers
Phylloscopus, Tarn, Midi-Pyrénées, France.jpg
Western Bonelli's warbler
Phylloscopus bonelli
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Phylloscopidae
Alström et al. 2006
Genus: Phylloscopus
F. Boie, 1826

More than 50

Leaf warblers are small insectivorous passerine birds belonging to the genus Phylloscopus. The genus was introduced by the German zoologist Friedrich Boie in 1826.[1][2] The name Phylloscopus is from Ancient Greek phullon, "leaf", and skopos, "seeker" (from skopeo, "to watch").[3]

Leaf warblers were formerly included in the Old World warbler family but are now considered to belong to the monogeneric family Phylloscopidae, introduced in 2006.[4] The genus is closely related to Seicercus and some species have been moved between the two genera in earlier classification attempts. Leaf warblers are active, constantly moving, often flicking their wings as they glean the foliage for insects along the branches of trees and bushes. They forage at various levels within forests, from the top canopy to the understorey. Most of the species are markedly territorial both in their summer and winter quarters. Most are greenish or brownish above and off-white or yellowish below. Compared to some other "warblers", their songs are very simple. Species breeding in temperate regions are usually strongly migratory.


The genus includes eleven species that were formerly placed in the genus Seicercus, but a 2018 molecular phylogeny study indicated that the genus Seicercus is a synonym of Phylloscopus, leaving the family Phylloscopidae with a single genus, Phylloscopus.[5]

The genus contains 77 species:[6]


  1. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Cottrell, G. William, eds. (1986). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 11. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 221.
  2. ^ Boie, Friedrich (1826). "Generalübersicht der ornithologischen Ordnungen Familien und Gattugen". Isis von Oken (in German). 19. col. 972.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 305. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Alström, P.; Ericson, P.G.P.; Olsson, U.; Sundberg, P. (2006). "Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 38 (2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015.
  5. ^ Alström, P.; et al. (2018). "Complete species-level phylogeny of the leaf warbler (Aves: Phylloscopidae) radiation". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 126: 141–152. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.03.031.
  6. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Bushtits, leaf warblers, reed warblers". World Bird List Version 8.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 8 August 2018.

Further reading

  • Badyaev, Alexander V. & Leaf, Elizabeth S. (1997): "Habitat associations of song characteristics in Phylloscopus and Hippolais warblers". Auk 114(1): 40-46.

External links

  • Leaf warbler videos on the Internet Bird Collection
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