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Willow warbler UK09.JPG
Willow warbler
Phylloscopus trochilus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Family: Phylloscopidae
Alström, Ericson, Olsson, & Sundberg, 2006[verification needed]


Phylloscopidae is a newly described family of small insectivorous birds formerly placed in the Old World warbler family. Phylloscopidae contains two genera, Phylloscopus and Seicercus, respectively containing around 55 and 11 species. The leaf warblers are a branch of "Old World warblers," one of 10 or more branches that sprouted as Families with the break-up of the Sylviidae.[1]


Its members occur in Eurasia, ranging into Wallacea and Africa (and the Arctic warbler breeding east into Alaska). Most live in forest and scrub and frequently catch food on the wing.


The species are of various sizes, often green-plumaged above and yellow below, or more subdued with greyish-green to greyish-brown colours, varying little or not at all with the seasons. The tails are not very long and contain 12 feathers (unlike the similar Abroscopus species, which have 10 tail feathers). Many species are more easily identified by their distinctive songs than their dull plumage.

Behavior and ecology[edit]

The Phylloscopidae comprises many small tree-loving warbler species. Many are canopy or sub-canopy dwellers, gleaning insects from leaves or catching food on the wing.[1]

There are many species breeding at temperate and high latitudes in Eurasia that migrate substantial distances to winter in southeast Asia, India, or Africa. An example is Tickell's leaf warbler, which breeds in scrub at high elevation in the Himalayas and on the Tibetan Plateau and then moves downslope and south to winter in the Himalayan foothills of India and Burma.[1]