Emei Leaf Warbler

Emei Leaf Warbler
Emei Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus emeiensis, Sichuan, China, elev. 1540 m (5,050 ft.), May. (Craig Brelsford)
Emei Leaf Warbler
Emei Leaf Warbler, Sichuan, May. (Craig Brelsford)

Emei Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus emeiensis is Chinese breeding endemic (southeast Sichuan, northeast Yunnan, northern Guizhou, and northwest Guangdong). Non-breeding range poorly known; probably includes Southeast Asia. HABITAT Breeds in temperate and subtropical broadleaved forests between 1000–2000 m (3,280–6,560 ft.). ID & COMPARISON Mid-sized, boldly marked leaf warbler with double wingbars and prominent yellowish supercilium. Distinguished from Claudia’s Leaf Warbler P. claudiae by less distinct crown pattern; lateral crown-stripes of Claudia’s are blackish posteriorly, not grey-green, as in Emei, and median crown-stripe of Claudia’s is bolder and more contrasting than Emei. Claudia’s also has a very different song and different wing-flicking habit; Emei flicks both wings quickly and simultaneously, not one at a time, as Claudia’s. Claudia’s has more distinct white areas on inner webs of outer rectrices (usually visible only in hand). Kloss’s Leaf Warbler P. ogilviegranti has even more strongly defined crown pattern and is brighter yellow and green. BARE PARTS Bill black above, orange below; feet pinkish. VOICE Song a simple, raspy trill, tji-tji-tji-tji, lasting 3-4 seconds and reminiscent of Arctic Warbler P. borealis; more complex songs of Claudia’s and Kloss’s employ much sweeter whistles. Two-note call much softer than Claudia’s. — Craig Brelsford


A new species of Phylloscopus warbler from Sichuan province, China,” Ibis, 1995


shanghaibirding.com has research on most members of Phylloscopus in China. Click any link below:

Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
Buff-barred Warbler P. pulcher
Ashy-throated Warbler P. maculipennis
Hume’s Leaf Warbler P. humei
Yellow-browed Warbler P. inornatus
Chinese Leaf Warbler P. yunnanensis
Lemon-rumped Warbler P. chloronotus
Sichuan Leaf Warbler P. forresti
Gansu Leaf Warbler P. kansuensis
Pallas’s Leaf Warbler P. proregulus
Yellow-streaked Warbler P. armandii
Radde’s Warbler P. schwarzi
Sulphur-bellied Warbler P. griseolus
Tickell’s Leaf Warbler P. affinis
Smoky Warbler P. fuligiventer
Dusky Warbler P. fuscatus
Buff-throated Warbler P. subaffinis
Willow Warbler P. trochilus
Mountain Chiffchaff P. sindianus
Common Chiffchaff P. collybita
Eastern Crowned Warbler P. coronatus
Ijima’s Leaf Warbler P. ijimae
White-spectacled Warbler P. intermedius
Grey-cheeked Warbler P. poliogenys
Green-crowned Warbler P. burkii
Grey-crowned Warbler P. tephrocephalus
Whistler’s Warbler P. whistleri
Bianchi’s Warbler P. valentini
Alström’s Warbler P. soror
Martens’s Warbler P. omeiensis
Two-barred Warbler P. plumbeitarsus
Greenish Warbler P. trochiloides
Emei Leaf Warbler P. emeiensis
Large-billed Leaf Warbler P. magnirostris
Sakhalin Leaf Warbler P. borealoides
Pale-legged Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes
Japanese Leaf Warbler P. xanthodryas
Kamchatka Leaf Warbler P. examinandus
Arctic Warbler P. borealis
Chestnut-crowned Warbler P. castaniceps
Limestone Leaf Warbler P. calciatilis
Sulphur-breasted Warbler P. ricketti
Yellow-vented Warbler P. cantator
Blyth’s Leaf Warbler P. reguloides
Claudia’s Leaf Warbler P. claudiae
Hartert’s Leaf Warbler P. goodsoni
Kloss’s Leaf Warbler P. ogilviegranti
Hainan Leaf Warbler P. hainanus
Davison’s Leaf Warbler P. davisoni
Grey-hooded Warbler P. xanthoschistos


Use Per Alström’s 40-page presentation on the leaf warblers of China. The document is available in PDF and jpeg:

Presentation on the Identification of Leaf Warblers in China, by Per Alström (PDF version)

Presentation on the Identification of Leaf Warblers in China, by Per Alström (zip folder containing jpegs that can be synced like photos to one’s smartphone)


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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