|Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)|
The typical warblers are small birds belonging to the genus Sylvia in the "Old World warbler" (or sylviid warbler) family Sylviidae. There are 28 species currently included in the genus, including five species formerly treated in the genus Parisoma, a treatment which left Sylvia paraphyletic. Typical warblers occur in the temperate to tropical regions of Europe, western and central Asia, and Africa, with the highest species diversity centred around the Mediterranean.
They are strongly built, with stouter legs and a slightly thicker bill than many other warblers, and range in size from 11 cm length and 7 g weight (African Desert Warbler) up to 17 cm length and 36 g weight (Barred Warbler). The plumage is based around varying shades of grey and brown, usually darker above and paler below, with bluish or pinkish tones in several species; several also have orange-brown or rufous fringed wing feathers. The tail is square-ended in most, slightly rounded in a few, and in several species has white sides. Many of the species show some sexual dimorphism, with distinctive male and female plumages, with the males in many having black or bright grey on the heads, replaced by brown, brownish-grey or similar dusky colours in females; about a third of the species also have a conspicuous red eye ring in males. Species breeding in cool temperate regions are strongly migratory, while most of those in warmer regions are partially migratory or resident. They are active warblers usually associated with open woodland, scrub, hedges or shrubs. Their diet is largely insectivorous, though several species also eat fruit extensively, mainly small berries such as elder and ivy, particularly from late summer to late winter; one species (Blackcap) also frequently takes a wide variety of human-provided foods on birdtables in winter.
The typical warblers are now known to form a major lineage in a clade containing also the parrotbills and some taxa formerly considered to be Old World babblers. The other "Old World warblers" have been moved to their own families, entirely redelimiting the Sylviidae. Because of their distinctness, the Sylvia group might be considered a subfamily Sylviinae, but several Old World warblers are pending restudy with the new data. In particular the relationship to the African Hill Babbler (Pseudoalcippe abyssinica) and the Chinese Hill Warbler (Rhopophilus pekinensis) are not entirely resolved but certainly more distant.
The genus as currently circumscribed includes the following species:
- Eurasian Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
- Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
- Barred Warbler, Sylvia nisoria
- Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
- Desert Whitethroat Sylvia minula
- Hume's Whitethroat Sylvia althaea
- Western Orphean Warbler Sylvia hortensis
- Eastern Orphean Warbler Sylvia crassirostris
- Arabian Warbler Sylvia leucomelaena
- Asian Desert Warbler Sylvia nana
- African Desert Warbler Sylvia deserti
- Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
- Dartford Warbler Sylvia undata
- Marmora's Warbler Sylvia sarda
- Balearic Warbler Sylvia balearica
- Tristram's Warbler Sylvia deserticola
- Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata
- Subalpine Warbler Sylvia cantillans
- Sardinian Warbler Sylvia melanocephala
- Menetries's Warbler Sylvia mystacea
- Rüppell's Warbler Sylvia rueppelli
- Cyprus Warbler Sylvia melanothorax
- Yemen Warbler Sylvia buryi – formerly placed in Parisoma
- Brown Parisoma Sylvia lugens – formerly placed in Parisoma
- Banded Parisoma Sylvia boehmi – formerly placed in Parisoma
- Chestnut-vented Warbler Sylvia subcaerulea – formerly placed in Parisoma
- Layard's Warbler Sylvia layardi – formerly placed in Parisoma
- IOC World Bird List version 2.9: Old World Warblers
- Del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A., & Christie, D. (editors). (2006). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions. ISBN 84-96553-06-X.
- Helbig, A. J. (2001). The characteristics of the genus: Phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Sylvia. Pages 24–28 in: Shirihai, H., Gargallo, G., Helbig, A. J., & Harris, A. Sylvia Warblers. Helm Identification Guides ISBN 0-7136-3984-9
- Jønsson, K. A. & Fjeldså, J. (2006). A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds (Aves: Passeri). Zool. Scripta 35 (2): 149–186. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2006.00221.x (HTML abstract)
- Snow, D. W., & Perrins, C. M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic (Concise Edition ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
- Alström, P., Ericson, P. G. P., Olsson, U., & Sundberg, P. (2006). Phylogeny and classification of the avian superfamily Sylvioidea. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 38 (2): 381–397. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.05.015 PMID 16054402
- Cibois, A. (2003). Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeny of Babblers (Timaliidae). Auk 120 (1): 1–20. DOI: 10.1642/0004-8038(2003)120[0035:MDPOBT]2.0.CO;2 HTML fulltext without images
- Typical warbler videos on the Internet Bird Collection