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Phylloscopus inornatus

Phylloscopus inornatus (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Parvordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Sylvioidea
Familia: Sylviidae
Genus: Phylloscopus
Species: Phylloscopus inornatus


Phylloscopus inornatus (Blyth, 1842)

Vernacular names
Ελληνικά: Κιτρινόφρυδος Φυλλοσκόπος
English: Yellow-browed Warbler
中文: 黃眉柳鶯


The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 11 p.191


he Yellow-browed Warbler or Inornate Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) is a leaf warbler (family Phylloscopidae) which breeds in temperate Asia. This warbler is strongly migratory and winters in tropical Southeast Asia. Like most similar birds, it was formerly included in the "Old World warbler" assemblage.

It was formerly considered to comprise of three subspecies, but humei and mandellii are now split as a separate species (Hume's Leaf Warbler), leaving P. inornatus monotypic. The two sister species differ slightly but consistently in morphology, bioacoustics, and molecular characters.[1]


This is one of the smallest "Old World warblers", 9.5-10 cm long: Like most other leaf warblers, it has greenish upperparts and off-white underparts. However, its prominent double wing bars – one long and one short –, lighter stripe on the blackish crown, yellow-margined tertial remiges and long supercilia are quite distinctive.

Its song is weak and high pitched; the call is faintly disyllabic.

The only real possibility of confusion is with the similar-looking Hume's Leaf Warbler (P. humei), which in the limited area of overlap has duller colours, a faint second wing bar and dark legs and lower mandible. Their vocalizations are clearly distinct.

Ecology and evolution

This is an abundant bird of lowland and montane woodlands; particularly in winter quarters it may also be found in agricultural areas. Its breeding range extends from the Urals eastwards to China, well north of the Himalayas and its associated mountain ranges. Its winter habitat is lowland broadleaf forest, and in winter quarters it rarely seen north of eastern India and hardly ever at altitudes over 1,000 m ASL [2] .

This tiny warbler is prone to vagrancy as far as western Europe in late September and October, despite a 3,000 km distance from its breeding grounds. For example, this species occurs in late autumn in Great Britain regularly enough that it is not classified as rare there.

This bird is not shy, but its arboreal life style makes it difficult to observe. It is constantly in motion. Like most "Old World warblers", this small passerine is insectivorous. The nest is built in a tree.

A common species in most of its wide range, the Yellow-browed Warbler is not considered threatened by the IUCN.[3]

The Western Hume's Leaf Warbler's range overlaps with that of the Yellow-browed Warbler in the western Sayan Mountains, but the species apparently do not hybridize. Their lineages diverged roughly 2.5 million years ago.[4]


1. ^ Alström & Olsson (1988), Shirihai & Madge (1993), Irwin et al. (2001), Sangster et al. (2002)
2. ^ Inskipp et al. (2000)
3. ^ BLI (2008)
4. ^ Ernst (1996), Irwin et al. (2001)


* Alström, Per & Olsson, U. (1988): Taxonomy of Yellow-browed Warblers. Brit. Birds 81: 656–657.
* BirdLife International (BLI) (2008). Phylloscopus inornatus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 6 June 2009.
* Ernst, S. (1996): Zweiter Beitrag zur Vogelwelt des Östlichen Altai ["Second contribution regarding the avifauna of the Sayan Mountains"]. Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum Berlin 72, Suppl. Ann. Ornithol. 20: 123–180 [Article in German].
* Inskipp, Carol; Inskipp, Tim & Sherub (2000): The ornithological importance of Thrumshingla National Park, Bhutan. Forktail 14: 147-162. PDF fulltext
* Irwin, D.E.; Alström, Per; Olsson, U. & Benowitz-Fredericks, Z.M. (2001): Cryptic species in the genus Phylloscopus (Old World leaf warblers). Ibis 143(2): 233–247. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.2001.tb04479.x PDF fulltext
* Sangster, George; Knox, Alan G.; Helbig, Andreas J. & Parkin, David T. (2002): Taxonomic recommendations for European birds. Ibis 144(1): 153–159. doi:10.1046/j.0019-1019.2001.00026.x (HTML abstract)
* Shirihai, H. & Madge, S. (1993): Identification of Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler. Birding World 6: 439–443.

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