Sykes's warbler

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Sykes's warbler
Syke's Warbler (Hippolais rama) on Vilaiti Siris (Samanea saman) in Kolkata W IMG 4659.jpg
Wintering in West Bengal, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Superfamily: Sylvioidea
Family: Acrocephalidae
Genus: Iduna
Species: Iduna rama
Binomial name
Iduna rama
(Sykes, 1832)

Hippolais rama Sykes, 1832

Sykes's warbler (Iduna rama) is an Old World warbler in the tree warbler family. It was formerly considered a subspecies of the booted warbler, but is now considered a full species. Its breeding range is from northeast Arabia to Afghanistan. Like the booted warbler, many populations of the species migrate in winter to the Indian subcontinent as far south as Sri Lanka.


The English name commemorates the Colonel William Henry Sykes who served in the British military in India.[1] Keyserling and Blasius gave no explanation of the genus name Iduna. The specific rama is from Hindu mythology; Rama was an incarnation of Vishnu.[2]


There are differences in the nesting and egg morphology between rama and caligata. It has been suggested that the rama group can be separated from Hippolais and the older genus name of Iduna was proposed[3] and molecular data supporting the Iduna clade was found in 2009.[4]


Territory protecting from Lesser Whitethroat at Kutch

It is a small passerine found in open country with bushes and other tall vegetation. 3-4 eggs are laid in a nest in a bush or vegetation. Like most warblers they are insectivorous.


It is a small warbler, especially compared to others in their genus. They are pale brown (weak tea colour) above and whitish below with buff flanks. The outer tail feathers have pale edges. They have a short pale supercilium, and the bill is strong and pointed. Sykes's is larger and greyer than booted, and most resembles an eastern olivaceous warbler.


  1. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Bird? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 332–333. 
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 202, 330. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  3. ^ Castell, Peter; Guy M. Kirwan (2005). "Will the real Sykes's Warbler please stand up? Breeding data support specific status for Hippolais rama and H. caligata, with comments on the Arabian population of 'booted warbler'" (PDF). Sandgrouse. 27 (1): 30–36. 
  4. ^ Silke Fregin; Martin Haase; Urban Olsson; Per Alström (2009). "Multi-locus phylogeny of the family Acrocephalidae (Aves: Passeriformes) – The traditional taxonomy overthrown". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 52 (3): 866–878. PMID 19393746. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.04.006.