Paddyfield warbler -- 稻田苇莺 (Acrocephalus agricola)

Paddyfield warbler perched
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Paddyfield warbler fact file

Paddyfield warbler description

GenusAcrocephalus (1)

The paddyfield warbler (Acrocephalus agricola) is a small bird with a short, dark brown bill and long, rounded tail. The upperparts of the paddyfield warbler are orange-brown in May and June, but the plumage slowly wears to a dull olive brown throughout the rest of the year. The throat and belly are whitish and the sides are a buffy yellow (2)

The paddyfield warbler has pinkish or greyish-brown legs, dark brown eyes (2), and a whitish stripe above each eye (3).

The distinctive song of the paddyfield warbler consists of mimicry of other species, combined with hurried chortled phrases (2).

Length: 13 cm (2)
8 - 11 g (2)

Paddyfield warbler biology

A mainly insectivorous bird, the paddyfield warbler feeds primarily on small flies, such as mayflies and caddisflies, but also consumes beetles, spiders and earthworms (2).

The breeding season of the paddyfield warbler extends from mid-May to mid-August.  The nest, which is built by both sexes, is a tall, deep, cylindrical structure made from reeds and grasses. It is placed around the stems of aquatic or semi-aquatic vegetation, 20 to 100 centimetres above the water or land. The paddyfield warbler lays 3 to 6 eggs, which are incubated by the female for approximately 12 days. The chicks are fed by both parents (2).

In September, after breeding is over, the paddyfield warbler migrates south to spend winter in warmer climates, before returning to its breeding range in May (4).


Paddyfield warbler range

The paddyfield warbler breeds in Eastern Europe and Western and Central Asia. It migrates south to the warmer Indian subcontinent for the winter (4).


Paddyfield warbler habitat

During the breeding season, the favoured habitat of the paddyfield warbler is low-growing reeds and dense vegetation at the edges of lakes and marshes (2) (3). In winter, it inhabits damp or wet ground with thick cover (2), such as reedbeds, paddy fields and mangroves (5).


Paddyfield warbler status

The paddyfield warbler is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Paddyfield warbler threats

Although the paddyfield warbler is not currently considered to be a threatened species (6), it may be affected in some areas by the reclamation of marshland, its favoured habitat (2).


Paddyfield warbler conservation

There are currently no specific conservation measures in place for the paddyfield warbler.

Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi is a principal sponsor of ARKive. EAD is working to protect and conserve the environment as well as promoting sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.


This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

This species information was authored as part of the Arkive and Universities Scheme.


Kept warm so that development is possible.
Feeds primarily on insects.
A phenomenon in which a species gains an advantage by closely resembling another species in appearance or behaviour.


  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2006) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. Peterson, R.T., Mountfort, G. and Hollum, P.A.D. (1993) A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 
  4. Elphick, J. (2007) The Atlas of Bird Migration. Struik Publishers, Cape Town.
  5. Grewall, B., Harvey, B. and Pfister, O. (2002) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of India and the Indian Subcontinent. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
  6. BirdLife International (November, 2010)

Image credit

Paddyfield warbler perched  
Paddyfield warbler perched

© Hanne & Jens Eriksen /

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