Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Yellow-browed warbler

Binomial name: Phylloscopus inornatus, Edward Blyth, 1842

The yellow-browed warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) is a leaf warbler (family Phylloscopidae) which breeds in temperate Asia. This warbler is strongly migratory and winters mainly in tropical southeast Asia, but also in small numbers in western Europe. Like the rest of Phylloscopidae, it was formerly included in the Old World warbler assemblage.

It was formerly considered to comprise three subspecies, but P. i. humei and P. i. mandellii are now split as a separate species, Hume's leaf warbler P. humei, leaving P. inornatus monotypic. The two sister species differ slightly but consistently in morphology, bioacoustics, and molecular characters. Before the species was split, the names yellow-browed willow warbler and inornate warbler were used by a few authors.

Description

This is one of the smaller Old World warblers, at 9.5–11 cm long and weighing 4–9 g distinctly smaller than a chiffchaff but slightly larger than Pallas's leaf warbler. Like many other leaf warblers, it has overall greenish upperparts and white underparts. It also has prominent double wing bars formed by yellowish-white tips to the wing covert feathers (a long bar on the greater coverts and a short bar on the median coverts), yellow-margined tertial feathers, and long yellow supercilium. Some individuals also have a faint paler green central crown stripe though many do not show this.

It is not shy, but its arboreal life style makes it difficult to observe. It is almost constantly in motion. Its song is a high pitched medley of whistles; the call is piercing, often disyllabic "tseeweest", strikingly loud for the bird's small size. 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 songs and calls are clearly distinct, with Hume's having a more chirping "chwee" call. It can easily be distinguished from Pallas's warbler as it does not have the a conspicuous yellow central crown stripe and rump patch shown that species.

Ecology and distribution

Like most warblers, it is insectivorous. The nest is built in dense vegetation often at the base of a tree or old stump; two to four (occasionally more) eggs are laid, hatching after 11–14 days, with the chicks fledging when 12–13 days old.

This is an abundant bird of lowland and montane forests and woodlands; particularly in winter it may also be found in more open woods. Its breeding range extends from just west of the Ural Mountains eastwards to eastern Siberia, Mongolia and northeastern China. Its winter habitat is lowland broadleaf or coniferous forest, from West Bengal and Assam in northeastern India east through southern China to Taiwan, and south to the Malay Peninsula. In summer, it occurs at altitudes of up to 2, 440 m, and in winter, up to 1, 525 m.

The European breeding population west of the Urals has increased westwards in recent decades; in 1950 it was described as 'fairly scarce', but 'locally abundant' with 45, 000–46, 000 pairs in 1990.

Small numbers, most likely from the western end of the breeding range, regularly winter in western Europe. These arrive in Great Britain in late September and October after a 3, 000–3, 500 km migration from the Urals, a markedly shorter distance than the 5, 500–6, 000 km they would need to fly to reach the normal wintering areas in southeastern Asia. Exact numbers in this population are unknown, but typically several hundred are found arriving in Great Britain each autumn; given their unobtrusive behaviour, this is probably only a fraction of the total. In the past widely considered to be vagrants, these birds are now thought to be undertaking a normal regular migration, able to take advantage of the mild oceanic climate winters on the western fringes of Europe for wintering.

A common species in most of its wide range, the yellow-browed warbler is not considered threatened by the IUCN.

Hume's leaf warbler overlaps its breeding range with yellow-browed warbler in the western Sayan Mountains, but the species apparently do not hybridise. Their lineages diverged roughly 2.5 million years ago.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Phylloscopidae
Genus
Phylloscopus
Species
Phylloscopus inornatus

Synonyms

  • Regulus inornatus, Edward Blyth (1842)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Yellow-browed warbler, Phylloscopus inornatus in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ao Phang-Nga National Park
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Ban Pho District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Ban District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Lamung District, Chonburi
  • Bang Len District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bang Saphan Noi District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Bangkok Province
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Bueng Khong Long Non-hunting Area
  • Chae Son National Park
  • Chaloem Phra Kiat District, Saraburi
  • Chaloem Phrakiat Thai Prachan National Park
  • Chat Trakan Waterfall National Park
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Doi Chong National Park
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Phu Kha National Park
  • Doi Saket District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
  • Doi Tao District, Chiang Mai
  • Dong Kheng Forest Park
  • Erawan National Park
  • Fang District, Chiang Mai
  • Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Nam Dang National Park
  • Huai Sala Wildlife Sanctuary
  • In Buri District, Sing Buri
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi
  • Kaeng Khro District, Chaiyaphum
  • Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kanthararom District, Sisaket
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Kaset Sombun District, Chaiyaphum
  • Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Chamao - Khao Wong National Park
  • Khao Chong
  • Khao Khitchakut National Park
  • Khao Laem National Park
  • Khao Laem Ya National Park
  • Khao Lak - Lam Ru National Park
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Nang Panthurat Forest Park
  • Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
  • Khao Phra - Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Kaeo Waterfall National Park
  • Khlong Lan National Park
  • Khlong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khlong Wang Chao National Park
  • Khon San District, Chaiyaphum
  • Khun Nan National Park
  • Khun Phawo National Park
  • Khun Sathan National Park
  • Khun Tan District, Chiang Rai
  • Khung Kraben Non-hunting Area
  • Khura Buri District, Phang Nga
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Ko Sichang District, Chonburi
  • Kromluang Chumphon Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Kut Thing Non-hunting Area
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Lam Nam Kok National Park
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Chan District, Chiang Rai
  • Mae Charim National Park
  • Mae Fa Luang District, Chiang Rai
  • Mae Moei National Park
  • Mae Ping National Park
  • Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Sai District, Chiang Rai
  • Mae Sot District, Tak
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Mu Ko Chang National Park
  • Mu Ko Similan National Park
  • Mu Ko Surin National Park
  • Muak Lek District, Saraburi
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chaiyaphum District, Chaiyaphum
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Chumphon District, Chumphon
  • Mueang Kalasin District, Kalasin
  • Mueang Kamphaeng Phet District, Kamphaeng Phet
  • Mueang Kanchanaburi District, Kanchanaburi
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mueang Lopburi District, Lopburi
  • Mueang Maha Sarakham District, Maha Sarakham
  • Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Mueang Nan District, Nan
  • Mueang Nong Khai District, Nong Khai
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Pathum Thani District, Pathum Thani
  • Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga
  • Mueang Phatthalung District, Phatthalung
  • Mueang Phayao District, Phayao
  • Mueang Phetchabun District, Phetchabun
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phichit District, Phichit
  • Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok
  • Mueang Prachinburi District, Prachinburi
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Sisaket District, Sisaket
  • Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Nam Phong National Park
  • Namtok Pha Charoen National Park
  • Namtok Phlio National Park
  • Namtok Sam Lan National Park
  • Nanthaburi National Park
  • Non Din Daeng District, Buriram
  • Non Sang District, Nong Bua Lamphu
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Nong Saeng District, Udon Thani
  • Nong Waeng Non-hunting Area
  • Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi
  • Ob Khan National Park
  • Pae Mueang Pee Forest Park
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pang Sida National Park
  • Pang Sila Thong District, Kamphaeng Phet
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Pha Hin Ngam National Park
  • Pha Taem National Park
  • Phan District, Chiang Rai
  • Phatthana Nikhom District, Lopburi
  • Pho Prathap Chang District, Phichit
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Phu Chi Fa Forest Park
  • Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park
  • Phu Foi Lom National Park
  • Phu Hin Rong Kla National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Kradueng National Park
  • Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Ruea National Park
  • Phu Sa Dok Bua National Park
  • Phu Soi Dao National Park
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Phu Toei National Park
  • Phu Wiang National Park
  • Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Pran Buri Forest Park
  • Sai Noi District, Nonthaburi
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sai Yok National Park
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Salak Pra Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Salawin National Park
  • Samae San Island
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • San Sai District, Chiang Mai
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Sanam Chai Khet District, Chachoengsao
  • Sangkhla Buri District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sattahip District, Chonburi
  • Si Maha Phot District, Prachinburi
  • Si Racha District, Chonburi
  • Si Satchanalai National Park
  • Sirinat National Park
  • Sri Phang-nga National Park
  • Tai Rom Yen National Park
  • Taksin Maharat National Park
  • Taphan Hin District, Phichit
  • Tarutao National Marine Park
  • Tat Mok National Park
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Thalang District, Phuket
  • Thale Ban National Park
  • Tham Sakoen National Park
  • Than Sadet - Koh Pha-Ngan National Park
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Thap Lan National Park
  • Thong Pha Phum National Park
  • Thung Salaeng Luang National Park
  • Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Wang Chan District, Rayong
  • Wang Saphung District, Loei
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-hunting Area
  • Yan Ta Khao District, Trang

Range map of Phylloscopus inornatus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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