Yellow-browed Warbler

Phylloscopus inornatus



The Yellow-browed Warbler is more slender than the Chiffchaff and is less colourful overall. Adults and juveniles are similar; greenish-olive on top, whitish underneath, there's a dark stripe through the eye and a pale stripe over the eye, two off-white wingbars, inside flight feathers are green-edged, the bill is narrow and pointy, the rump is greenish, and the legs are yellowy-pink.


The Yellow-browed Warbler is quite flexible with its habitat while migrating, feeding in whatever vegetation it comes across. It tends towards willows and sycamores, and breeding usually occurs in forests.


This is an inconspicuous species, and the call is the best way of locating it. It may employ a hover-like manoeuvre which it uses to get insects from the underside of leaves. A very active bird that darts from cover to cover, whether on the ground or in the canopy. Migrant birds can be territorial, aggressively defending feeding grounds.


Diet includes beetles, flies, and other small invertebrates.


Not a breeding bird of the region. The female incubates the clutch, then both parents tend to the young, which depart the nest at about 11-15 days old.


This is a passage migrant that visits in small numbers, with approximately 300 arriving in the region during autumn. The migration route sees the species departing breeding grounds in Siberia during August and September, travelling to Thailand; they make the return journey in April and May.

Observation Tips

These birds are timid and spend majority of their time concealed in vegetation, making observation a challenge. Best identified by their call, Yellow-browed Warblers are consistently found on the east coast of England and the Scilly Isles.


The call is an ascending 'tsu-eet' sounds, often used repeatedly, especially if others of the species are nearby.
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