Bird Families

Iranian warbler - Phylloscopus neglectus, species


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Number of species in "sister" taxa

viewIranian warblerPhylloscopus neglectusHume1870
family(Phylloscopidae)PhylloscopidaeAlström, Ericson, Olsson, & Sundberg2006
suborder / suborderSingersOscines
detachment / orderPasserinesPasseriformes
superorder / superorderNew Sky Birds (Typical Birds)NeognathaePycroft1900
infraclassReal birds (Fan-tailed birds)NeornithesGadow1893
subclassCilegrud Birds (Fantail Birds)Carinatae Ornithurae (Neornithes) Ornithurae (Neornithes)Merrem1813
subtype / subdivisionVertebrates (Cranial)Vertebrata (Craniata)Cuvier1800
type / departmentChordatesChordata
supertypeCoelomic animalsCoelomata
sectionBilaterally symmetrical (Three-layer)Bilateria (Triploblastica)
subkingdomMulticellular animalsMetazoa

Interspecific bird conflicts are explained by competition and hybridization

Many animals jealously guard their territory from the invasion of strangers. This is logical when it comes to a representative of its own species. However, an individual belonging to a different species often becomes the object of attack. For a long time, it was believed that such interspecific territoriality was just a by-product of the intraspecific one. In other words, the owner attacks the stranger by mistake, mistaking him for a relative.

However, new evidence suggests that protecting an area from other species is adaptive. It can arise and persist when different species compete for a particular resource, such as food or shelter.

A team of zoologists led by Jonathan P. Drury of the University of Durham conducted a massive study of interspecies competition for territory using the example of North American passerines. After analyzing the literature, scientists found that this behavior is typical for 104 of their species. This is 32.3 percent of the total number of passerine species in North America. Thus, interspecies competition is more widespread than previously thought.

According to the authors, in most cases, birds come into conflict over territory with a representative of one specific species. There are several factors that increase the chances of forming a pair of competing species. For example, birds that live in the same biotope, have similar sizes and nest in hollows are more likely to be involved in conflicts over territory. For species belonging to the same family, another factor plays an important role - the probability of hybridization. If two species are capable of interbreeding with each other, their males are likely to react aggressively to each other.

Based on the data obtained, the researchers concluded that interspecific conflicts for territory among birds do not arise at all by mistake. This behavior is an adaptive response to competition for a limited resource, as well as a mechanism to prevent hybridization between closely related species.

Description of the bird

More than 50 species of small songbirds belong to the genus Warbler. Previously, they were attributed to the Warbler family, but then scientists have singled out the birds into a separate family.

Warblers are found in Eurasia and Africa, and especially large populations of them live in the east of Asia. These adorable crumbs differ from Warblers in their long legs, short tail and thin beak. The color of the plumage of birds is dominated by yellow, brown and green colors. The abdomen is usually lighter than the dorsum. In general, all species are very similar to each other and differ only slightly. For example, some warblers have light stripes under the eyes and light feathers on the wings.

Real foam: general description

These migratory birds belong to the family of painted warblers. They live in forests, in thickets of bushes. They inhabit both deciduous and coniferous thickets. They are singers, live in northern and eastern Asia and in European countries, and winter in the African tropics.

There are birds in pairs or make up a small flock. They live for 11-12 years, and in captivity they are able to be active up to 20.

Heifers have a slender body with an even short tail, consisting of 12 large feathers. The plumage is colored in light brown, green, and also yellow, and the back is darker than the belly. All varieties are almost the same, only they can have light feathers on the wings and light stripes under the eyes.

Chiffchaff nutritional features

Warblers are insectivorous birds. They eat small forest and aquatic insects, their larvae, and spiders. Birds also eat flies, caterpillars and butterflies, beetles. In the fall, berries are included in your diet, for example, elderberries, raspberries, blueberries, currants.

The warbler finds food in the crowns of trees, in bushes, near foliage in the air. It absorbs insects about a third of its weight per day, and even more before the autumn migration to make fat reserves for a long flight.

Chiffchaff bird lifestyle

Warblers are typically forest birds. Tenkovki prefer high-stemmed sparse forests with clearings, dense undergrowth of nettles and ferns, raspberry thickets. The Western European population is concentrated in deciduous and mixed forests; closer to the taiga, birds willingly settle in dark coniferous massifs. Birds are often seen in the tundra and forest-tundra, where birds live along the banks of rivers in bushy thickets.

But the brown warblers are exclusively taiga inhabitants that nest in the most swampy forest landscapes. Not being synanthropic species, these birds are surprisingly careless and allow observers to come close. Therefore, it will not be difficult to make interesting photos of the chiffchaff if desired.

Like most small birds, the warblers are very active and mobile, and if they freeze in place, they twitch their tail and folded wings. All day long they flutter and jump on thin grass, then on tree branches, looking for food for themselves or their offspring.


Males usually sing in crowns, alternating between singing and hunting. The song is a short melodic whistling trill lasting about 3 seconds, at first loud and then dying down, the tone of the signals first rises and then falls, similar to the song of a finch, but without a flourish at the end. Individual variations are great. Males sing already during migration, having not yet occupied the nesting territories. The cry of alarm is a high-pitched whistle "fu-it" or "tiuvit" with an emphasis on the first syllable and raising the tone towards the end of the signal, some training is needed to distinguish it from the call of the chiffchaff, as well as the call of the common redstart.

Brown-cheeked warbler

The body length of this small bird reaches 11 cm. The cheeks are painted in a characteristic reddish color. The paws are dark. The top of the bird is greenish-gray, the belly is light. Distributed in the countries of central Africa (Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda).

Laura's penny

It lives in the tropical forests of Africa, found in countries such as Angola, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania. The species was discovered by the wife of the American birdwatcher Boulton, after whom he was named "Laura".

Willow warbler

The body length of the bird is 11-13 cm, the wingspan is up to 22 cm, the weight is 8-11 g. The species is very similar to the chiffchaff, but differs from it in singing. The back is olive green, the tummy is whitish yellow. The bird is distinguished by a yellow throat and chest and yellowish stripes above the eyes. The willow warbler is a resident of Europe. Flies to Africa for the winter.

Chiffchaff warbler

The species is found in coniferous and mixed forests of Asia and Europe, even in the far northern regions. For wintering it roams in the Mediterranean countries, South Asia and Central Africa.

The bird is small: body length up to 12 cm, weight 7-8 g, in females it is slightly less. During the nesting period, the back in males and females is grayish-brown, with an olive tint in the western subspecies. The tummy is whitish, with a yellow tint on the sides and breast. The eyebrows are highlighted with a white stripe. In autumn, the color fades, the sides and breast merge with the rest of the plumage. The chiffchaff has a sharp and dark beak, dark legs. The bird is distinguished from the willow tree by singing, which consists of iridescent sounds "shadow-ting-tien-ting-ting-tien".

Light-bellied warbler

The body length of the species reaches 12 cm, the wingspan is 18-20 cm. Body weight is from 7 to 9 g. The back is brown, the belly is white. A white eyebrow and a yellow undertail are visible. The song consists of a repeating "pu-ee" sound. The light-bellied warbler lives in the west and south-west of Central Europe. Winters in sub-Saharan Africa.

Ratchet warbler

The distribution area of ​​the species is the temperate and taiga zone of Europe. For the winter, the bird migrates to tropical Africa. The body length of the species is 11-13 cm, the wingspan is up to 24 cm. Body weight is up to 13 g. The plumage on the back is green, on the chest - yellowish-white. The song sounds like a combination of "sib" or "tyuyu" sounds with characteristic crackling sounds.

Brown warbler

A resident of East Asia, reaches 14 cm in length. The plumage of the back of the bird is dark brown. The beak is sharp, straight, short. Dark colored legs. Before the eyes of the brown warbler, there is a dark stripe, above which a light one is noticeable. The eyes are outlined in white. The tummy is off-white, the breast is slightly darker. The sides and undertail are cream. The tail is slightly rounded. A sharp "check" sound is heard in the song of the brown warbler.

Thick-billed warbler

Body length up to 13 cm, weight 13-14 g. The bird is found in forests in eastern Asia. It is dyed brown-olive.

Korolkovaya warbler

The bird has a green back and a light tummy, a yellow stripe is visible on the head, and light ones on the wings. The body length of the species is up to 10 cm, weight is about 7 grams. Lives in southern and eastern Siberia, Mongolia and China. Migratory species with wintering in Indochina.


Habitat - East Asia. Wingspan up to 16 cm, body length 10 cm. Weight from 4 to 9 g. The plumage on the back is olive-green with light stripes. The tummy is yellow-white. The beak is brown with a yellow base. The legs are reddish.

Talovka warbler

The plumage is gray-green with a lighter belly. The bird differs from other species by its protruding flight feathers and a light stripe on the wings. Its body length reaches 13 cm. Breeds in Russia, Brunei, China, Korea, Mexico, Mongolia, Scandinavian countries, Central and South Asia.

Green warbler

Resident of Eurasia. Outwardly similar to a forest warbler, but smaller than it. The top is olive green, the bottom is grayish white. A dark stripe with a yellow eyebrow is visible on the eyes. The legs are brown. The birds are about 10 cm long, with a wingspan of 15 to 20 cm, and weighing about 8 g.

Light-headed warbler

A bird with a body length of 12 cm, weighing about 8 g, with a typical plumage color: green back, light belly. A light eyebrow is located above the eyes. The species is common in Asia (Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Laos, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Russia).

Differences between other types of warblers

The talovka warbler weighs 10 g, its body is 12-13 cm in length. The plumage changes from greenish-gray above to off-white below. It features white paws, a protruding flight feather and a melodic whistle. Her habitats are Brunei, China, Mexico, Russia.

The body of the warbler-warbler is 10 cm in length, but it weighs only 4-9 g. The wingspan is about 16 cm.The color of the plumage is brownish-green on top, white-yellow belly, white eyebrows and white stripes on the wings and head, reddish shade of the paws ... The place of residence is the dense forests of East Asia.

The Brown Warbler can be found in the mountainous forests of East Asia. She has a brownish-reddish plumage, darker on the back and breast, the legs are also dark, the abdomen is off-white. Body length 14 cm. The bird's beak is short. Makes sharp sounds similar to "check-check".

The brownish chiffchaff has a reddish-brown color on the cheeks. The back is greenish-gray, the abdomen is white, the legs are dark. Body length 11 cm, lives in central Africa.

Laura's penny is named after the wife of the birdwatcher by the name of Boulton. She discovered it in the tropics of Africa.

Keeping heifers at home

Care for the chaff is easy. Only at first, in a cage, birds can behave restlessly and anxiously, in such cases the cage is covered with tissue. These crumbs quickly get used to captivity and after a couple of weeks they can be safely released to fly.

Heifers have a peaceful character, they can get along with other species. But it is better not to leave several males together - they can quarrel over the female.

Perches, a drinking bowl and a bathing container are placed in the cage near the warblers. For a pair of warblers, you can build a house, or leave grass, moss and leaves, from which the birds will build a nest themselves.

In one clutch of a female warbler, there are up to 7 small light eggs. The female incubates them for two weeks, and the same number feeds offspring.

Birds are also unpretentious in food. They are fed insects, mealworms, berries and fruits.

But with their sonorous trills, the warblers will delight the owners all year round.

Nesting and reproduction of the warbler

A male finds a place for a nest, clears it and protects it. The nest itself is built by the female. In appearance, the nests are similar to a hut. For its construction, she uses pieces of moss, leaves, grass stalks. The clutch consists of 5-7 eggs, and the parents incubate them “in shifts”. The eggs are white.

Chicks will appear in two weeks and grow up very quickly - in the same 2 weeks they will be able to fly out of the nest. Upon reaching 1 year, they themselves are able to acquire offspring. Some species have children two or even three times a year.

It is important to know that there are no external sex and age differences in any species of warblers.

Such different warblers

Representatives of this genus are a real nightmare for many novice (and not only) birdwatchers. The whole point is not only in their restlessness, but also in their great external similarity, so even with a picture, it is often difficult to understand what kind of species they are talking about. In part, the problem is solved due to the fact that the warblers noticeably differ from each other in voice. If you have no ear for music, it is worth delving into the external differences, no matter how insignificant they may seem at first glance.

Chiffchaff warbler

- the most common species on the territory of Belarus. It can be found in almost any forest, garden or park. However, these birds rarely go deeper, preferring the neighborhood of forest edges, clearings and other open areas. Tenkovki return from wintering earlier than all warblers: already at the beginning of April you can hear their vigorous shading, which is sometimes heard almost without interruption all day long. The call is an abrupt "whit". The color is dominated by a gray color with a green tint, but their ratio largely depends on age, individual characteristics and other factors. The eyebrow is poorly expressed, and the paws are painted in a dark, almost black color. It is also worth noting that chiffchaffs occasionally remain in Belarus for the winter. Then they are celebrated near the treatment facilities and in other places where the water does not freeze even in severe frosts.

Willow warbler

differs in pinkish paws. The eyebrow is more pronounced, and the throat and sides have a yellow tint, while the green is more noticeable on the upper body. Young birds look especially bright in autumn. The call resembles the voice of a chiffchaff, but the bird seems to pull the first sound "uuuit" As for singing, these two types have very little in common, it is easy to verify this by listening to the recording. Vesnichka prefers sparse plantations and small forest areas. Representatives of this species arrive a little later, they can be found from mid-April to September.

is the largest of our warblers and, perhaps, the brightest. The upper body is light green, the throat and cheeks are yellow, and the lower body is white. A wide eyebrow that extends far beyond the eye is also striking. The beak is noticeably longer than that of the Chiffchaff and Willow, the paws are light. This species lives in all types of forests.However, it is desirable that they are ripe and not too thick. The call sounds like a melancholic twi. However, the most characteristic feature of this species, which gave it its name, is the song, whose ending resembles a crackle.

In the northern part of Belarus, the green warbler nests, which is considered a typical representative of the taiga fauna. To live, she needs forests in which spruce is present. In the green warbler, the upper part of the body is colored grayish-green, while the lower part has only a slightly pronounced yellowish tint. It is difficult not to notice the wide eyebrow that reaches the back of the head. In addition, there is a light transverse stripe on the wing, however, depending on individual characteristics, it can be expressed to a greater or lesser extent. The green chiffchaff has dark paws, like the chiffchaff. The call resembles the sounds of qi zip, and the song consists of abrupt, similar sounds, which the bird repeats quickly.

The rarest of our warblers is the warbler. This species nests in Siberia, and it comes to us only during seasonal migrations in September, when part of the population, for reasons unknown so far, goes to winter not to India, but to Western Europe. In Belarus, since 2014, when Denis Kitel made the first registration, the lightning was noted less than 10 times, and only in one place - near the village of Sonovy Bor, located in the very north of the Rossony district, where the ringing station of the same name operates. However, the experience of neighboring countries shows that the lightning bolt can be found throughout the territory of Belarus, since this species flies in a wide front. It will be a big help to know the call call, which sounds like a drawn-out "tciivit". The characteristic external differences include a light eyebrow, reaching the back of the head, and a well-defined transverse stripe on the wing (sometimes there may be another one, at its base). In general, the warbler resembles a green warbler, but in contrast to this species, its paws are lighter, reddish-brown.

In conclusion, we note that the variety of warblers that can be found in Belarus is probably not limited to the types listed above. On the territory of neighboring countries, other representatives of this genus are regularly observed: korolkovaya, brown, thick-billed, etc. (like zarnchik, sometimes they choose Western Europe for wintering, this phenomenon even got its own name - reverse migration). Perhaps you will be lucky enough to become their "discoverer".

Photo by Ilya UKOLOV from the site
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Korolkovaya warbler - one of the smallest warblers, even more than a warbler, similar to a beetle. In spring and especially autumn plumage, a yellow eyebrow, a wide stripe at the crown, two wing stripes, and a brightly colored loin are noticeable. In summer, in a worn feather, these color signs are lost, but it is easy to distinguish it from all other warblers by its voice.

Adult birds in breeding plumage look paler and slightly grayer than in bright autumn plumage. The dorsal side is olive-greenish with a yellow loin; on the head there is a yellow wide stripe. The eyebrows are yellow. The apices of medium and large coverts form two wide, pale yellow wing stripes. On brown primary flight feathers are light, on secondary ones - wider light green borders. The ventral side is whitish with a gray coating on the neck, chest and sides and with yellow stripes on the belly, undertail and sides. The fold of the wing is yellow. The upper mandible is black, the mandible is blackish-brown, with a yellowish base. The tarsus and toes are dark greenish-brown; the soles of the toes are yellowish-green. The eyes are dark brown.

Adult birds in a fresh autumn outfit look bright. Their green tones are pronounced sharply, the eyebrow, the stripe on the head, the wing stripes and especially the sling on the lower back are bright yellow. The ventral side is cleaner. Young birds in the first autumn plumage are similar to adults, but their wing stripes are wider. Chick in nesting plumage with a brownish tint on the dorsal side with an indistinct band on the loin. On the ventral side, there is a pronounced grayish coating on the throat, neck and chest.

Breeding birds of warblers

By the end of the first year of life, the chiffchaffs are ready to become parents. These birds mate for one season, some species demonstrate polygyny, when one male manages to take care of several females at the same time.

These birds are among the first to return to their nesting sites, when the buds are just swelling on the trees. Males arrive 2-3 weeks earlier than females, sit on the tops of the tallest trees and amaze everyone who wants to listen with their unique vocals. Thus, they call the females and warn competitors about the ownership of this site. Courtship of the female you like consists in ritual air dances around the partner, while the flight of the male chiffchaff is very reminiscent of the fluttering of a butterfly.

The arrangement of the nest is entirely the concern of the female. In dense thickets of tall grass, ferns or blackberries, the female builds a small hut from last year's grass. Sometimes the nest is located in the branches of a bush, but always very low above the ground. The structure is about 12 cm high and about 12 cm in diameter, has a side entrance, and the tray is lined with feathers.

The clutch of different types of warblers contains from 2 to 8 eggs, pure white with abundant brown or red specks. It is interesting that the males of most species do not take part in incubation either, but they fiercely defend their nesting territory, the radius of which is about 10 m from the nest. Gullible outside the breeding season, males are intolerant of intruders on the nesting territory and boldly attack potential enemies, be it a rather large jay or even an ermine.

Incubation lasts about 2 weeks, chicks hatch helpless and naked, only on the back and head there is a light gray fluff. It is even more interesting that some males, for example, chiffchaffs, also do not participate in feeding chicks, continuing to protect the territory. And only in very unfavorable weather, when the insects are hiding, the male helps the female to feed the offspring.