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Western Orphean Warbler

From Opus

Photo © by john-henrySpanish Pyrenees, June 2003
Photo © by john-henry
Spanish Pyrenees, June 2003
Sylvia hortensis


[edit] Identification

15 cm (6 in)

  • Long and pointed bill
  • Black legs
  • White iris


  • Plain grey back
  • Whitish underparts
  • Black legs
  • Dark grey head
  • Black eye mask
  • White throat

Females and immatures have a paler head and buff underparts, grey back with a brownish tinge. The iris is dark in young birds.

[edit] Distribution

Around the western Mediterranean.
Breeds in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Formerly bred in Switzerland.
Winters in sub-Saharan Africa.

[edit] Taxonomy

This species was formerly lumped with Eastern Orphean Warbler to Orphean Warbler.

[edit] Subspecies

Formerly regarded as monotypic. Now two subspecies are recognized:

[edit] Habitat

They are normally found in various open and semi-open woodland with bushy cover.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

Monogamous. Both adults construct the nest in a bush or tree. Their clutch contains 4-6 eggs.

[edit] Diet

The diet consists mostly of arthropods, particularly insects, such as spiders, and their larvae. After the breeding season they add berries to their diet.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2019)

[edit] External Links


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