Great Reed Warbler

Great Reed Warbler
Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, Daquangou Reservoir (44.419050, 85.982337), Xinjiang, elev. 390 m (1,280 ft.), July. (Craig Brelsford)

Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus breeds across middle latitudes of western and central Palearctic to western Mongolia, with zarudnyi in northern and western Xinjiang. HABITAT Breeds in reedbeds. ID & COMPARISON Conspicuous whitish supercilium extends behind eye; brown loral spot. Fairly uniform olive-brown from crown to tail; alula, primaries, and centers to tertials darker brown. Underparts creamy white, purer white on throat and belly, and with warm buffish wash on flanks and vent. Throat shows fine grey streaking, and tail has whitish tips. Oriental Reed Warbler A. orientalis usually has darker streaking on throat, more conspicuous whitish tips to rectrices, and slightly shorter primary projection and is slightly smaller. Clamorous Reed Warbler A. stentoreus has no whitish tips to tail feathers, even shorter primary projection, a longer tail, and a weaker supercilium and eye-stripe. BARE PARTS Long, dagger-like bill brown above, pink below, darker at tip; feet brownish-grey. VOICE Loud, chattering song, similar to Oriental. — Craig Brelsford


Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus, song, Daquangou Reservoir (44.419050, 85.982337), Xinjiang, elev. 390 m (1,280 ft.), July, by Craig Brelsford (0:34; 6 MB)


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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