The plain leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus neglectus) is a small pale and relatively dull-coloured bird in the accomplished songbird family of Sylviidae (2)(3).
While its song is not as elaborate as that of other warblers, the plain leaf-warbler can still produce a variety of sounds, such as ‘twissa twissa’, ‘zilitzwits’ and ‘chit-chwich-chissa’ (2) with its song being described as a twittering, high pitched, musical warbling (3). It also produces a call, often emitted during flight, which is more of a harsh and low pitched ‘chur’ sound (2)(3).
Both the male and female plain leaf-warbler have largely greyish-brown plumage, with a thin blackish bill and blackish legs. The underparts of the body are a paler off-white (3) and a pale cream stripe above the eye is enhanced by a dark brown stripe that runs through each eye (4).
The plain leaf-warbler is a rather compact bird, with short, rounded wings and a short tail (3). The juvenile plain leaf-warbler is similar in appearance to the adult, but has slightly browner upperparts (3).
The plain leaf-warbler’s primary source of food is insects and larvae, which it extracts from the leaves and vegetation, often using its claws to cling upside down or even hovering to reach prey in difficult locations (2)(3). It also uses its speed and agility to make dashing flights in the pursuit of flying insects (2).
The plain leaf-warbler’s breeding season takes place between April and July. Little is known its actual breeding behaviour, but it is thought that each breeding pair produces a clutch of three to five eggs (2). The nests of the plain leaf-warbler are made primarily of grass, moss and feathers, and are often situated in vegetation about one metre from the ground (2). This species is usually seen alone or in pairs, but may from loose flock outside of the breeding season, when it will often feed with other leaf-warbler species (3).
The plain leaf-warbler is primarily found in temperate regions of central and southern Asia, from Turkmenistan to India (5)(3). It has also been found as a vagrant species as far north as Sweden (5). This species only travels short when migrating often, spending the winter in the same country in which it breeds (6).
Oak or juniper forests are the favoured habitats of the plain leaf-warbler (6)(3).
The plain leaf-warbler typically breeds above the tree line, at elevations over 2,400 metres (6). Throughout the winter, the plain leaf-warbler moves to lowland areas, where open woodland becomes its preferred habitat (7). This species has also been found in shrublands and grasslands, and has even been sighted flying through parks and gardens (2).
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