• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Wood Warbler - BirdForum Opus

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Rhadina sibilatrix

Photo by Macswede
Stockholm, Sweden, May 2012


Length 11–12.5 cm, weight 6.5–15 g
Bright green upperparts, yellow throat and upper chest; white underparts. Wing and tail feathers very dark green with bright yellow-green fringes. Yellow supercilium. Juvenile similar to adult.

Similar species

Long wings, relatively short, broad tail, and strong chest give a distinctive 'front-heavy' shape compared to Willow Warbler and other Phylloscopus species. Brighter green above and more yellow throated than Western Bonelli's Warbler and Eastern Bonelli's Warbler. On the African wintering grounds, could be confused with Laura's Woodland Warbler, but that differs in having bright yellow, not white, under-tail coverts.


Breeds in northern and central Europe and Russia, north to around 63°N latitude and east to about 90°E longitude. In N Europe from sea level, but further south, in mountain forests (Pyrenees, Alps, Balkan, and northern Caucasus mountains). In NW Europe, a very rare breeder in Ireland and scarce and declining in Britain, where primarily in western upland woods. Abundant in eastern Europe, and very common on passage in SE Europe. Winters in tropical Africa between about 10°N and 10°S latitude.

An accidental vagrant to western China, and Alaska (where 3 records).


Photo by ekhohe
Finland, May 2004

Closely related to the Western Bonelli's WarblerEastern Bonelli's Warbler species pair; with them, sometimes separated into the genus Rhadina. It is a monotypic species[1].


Prefers tall, mature mixed or broadleaf forests, often of oak Quercus or beech Fagus, often with sparse understorey and on sloping ground near rivers.


Sings from prominent perches often low down (typically 3–10 m above ground) or in flight between perches, under tall (20–45 m) forest canopy.


The diet includes insects and spiders.


The nest is built near the ground in low shrub.


Song: two distinct songs, typically interspersed; a plaintive descending "piuuu-piuuu-piuuu", and a higher-pitched musical trill often described as a spinning coin on marble (both given in the recording below, in this order). One of the most distinctive and evocative sounds of European forests in spring.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  3. Birdwatchers Pocket Guide ISBN 1-85732-804-3
  4. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1