Hume’s leaf-warbler -- 淡眉柳莺 (Phylloscopus humei)

Adult Hume's leaf-warbler
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Hume’s leaf-warbler fact file

Hume’s leaf-warbler description

GenusPhylloscopus (1)

A rather dull-coloured bird, Hume’s leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus humei) has pale greyish-green upperparts, with one or two whitish bars extending across the wings (3) and dull off-white underparts. The crown is grey, a yellowish-white stripe extends above the eye, and it has a short, dark bill (2). Male and female Hume’s leaf-warblers are similar in appearance (3).

Most easily identified by its call, Hume’s leaf-warbler is described as a noisy bird which produces a short, penetrating ‘tzz wip(3). It is also said to have a song which sounds like a buzzing insect, which lasts several seconds before fading (2).

Phylloscopus inornatus.
Length: 10 - 11 cm (2)
5 - 8.8 g (2)

Hume’s leaf-warbler biology

Hume’s leaf-warbler is an insectivorous bird, with a diet that comprises mainly small arthropods. As such, the species’ abundance is tightly correlated with the abundance of arthropods in the area (5).

The nest of Hume’s leaf-warbler is built on the ground by the female, using dry grass and lined with thin grass and some hair. The nest, which takes 4 to 8 days to construct, is situated 15 to 50 metres apart from the nests of other Hume’s leaf-warblers. From four to seven eggs are laid between the end of May and mid-July, which are then incubated by the female for 11 to 14 days. Both the male and female are responsible for feeding the juveniles, which are ready to fledge at 11 to 15 days old (6).

In August or September, after breeding in the northern parts of its range, Hume’s leaf-warbler migrates to south and south-east Asia (6), a journey which typically covers less than 2,000 kilometres (7). Here Hume’s leaf-warbler will remain before travelling northwards again in May (6).


Hume’s leaf-warbler range

Hume’s leaf-warbler occurs in Asia, from Iraq and Iran eastwards through India to China and Vietnam, and as far north as Russia. It may occasionally be sighted in Egypt and in Europe, as far west as the United Kingdom (4).


Hume’s leaf-warbler habitat

Temperate forest and shrubland are the preferred breeding habitats of Hume’s leaf-warbler. Outside of the breeding season it can also be found in tropical moist forest, plantations and gardens (2) (4).


Hume’s leaf-warbler status

Hume’s leaf-warbler  is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Hume’s leaf-warbler threats

Hume’s leaf-warbler is currently not known to be facing any major threats.  


Hume’s leaf-warbler conservation

With an extremely large range and a large, stable population, Hume’s leaf-warbler is not currently considered to be threatened, and therefore at present there are no known conservation measures in place to protect this species (4).

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View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

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


A major grouping of animals that includes crustaceans, insects and arachnids. All arthropods have paired jointed limbs and a hard external skeleton (exoskeleton).
Kept warm so that development is possible.
Feeds primarily on insects.
Referring to the geographical region that lies between the polar and tropical regions, characterised by a moderate climate with distinct seasons.


  1. IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
  2. Brazil, M. (2009) Bird of East Asia. Christopher Helm, London.
  3. Grewal, B., Harvey, B. and Pfister, O. (2002) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of India and the Indian Subcontinent. Princeton University Press, New Jersey, USA.
  4. BirdLife International (November, 2010)
  5. Gross, S.J. and Price, R.D. (2000), Determinants of the northern and southern range limits of a warbler. Journal of Biogeography, 27: 869-878.
  6. Gavrilov, E.I. and Gavrilov, A.E. (2005) The Birds of Kazakhstan. Almaty, Kazakhstan.
  7. Berthold, P., Gwinner, E. and Sonnenschein, E. (2003) Avian Migration.  Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Germany.

Image credit

Adult Hume's leaf-warbler  
Adult Hume's leaf-warbler

© Sergey Eliseev

Sergey Eliseev


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