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Sylvia atricapilla male 2.jpg
Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Infraorder: Passerida
Superfamily: Sylvioidea
Family: Sylviidae
Vigors, 1825

See text



Sylviidae is a family of passerine birds that was part of an assemblage known as the Old World warblers. The family was a wastebin taxon with over 400 species of bird in over 70 genera.[citation needed] The family was poorly defined with many characteristics shared with other families.[neutrality is disputed] Advances in classification, particularly helped with molecular data, have led to the splitting out of several new families from within this group. Today the smaller family Sylviidae includes the typical warblers in the genus Sylvia, the parrotbills of Asia (formerly a separate family Paradoxornithidae), a number of babblers formerly placed within the family Timaliidae (which is being split) and the wrentit, an unusual[peacock term] North American bird that has been a longstanding taxonomic mystery.

There is now[when?] evidence that these Sylvia "warblers" are more closely related to babblers Timaliidae, and thus these birds are better referred to as Sylvia babblers, or just sylvids.[1]


Sylviids are small to medium-sized birds. The bill is generally thin and pointed with bristles at the base. Sylviids have a slender shape and an inconspicuous and mostly plain plumage. The wings have ten primaries, which are rounded and short in non-migratory species.[2]


Family Sylviidae sensu stricto[edit]

True warblers (or sylviid warblers) and parrotbills. A fairly diverse group of smallish taxa with longish tails. Mostly in Asia, to a lesser extent in Africa. A few range into Europe; one monotypic genus on west coast of North America.


  1. ^
  2. ^ del Hoyo, J. Elliott, 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
  3. ^ Gelang, Magnus; Alice Cibois; Eric Pasquet; Urban Olsson; Per Alström; Per G. P Ericson (2009). "Phylogeny of babblers (Aves, Passeriformes): major lineages, family limits and classification". Zoologica Scripta. 38 (3): 225–236. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6409.2008.00374.x.