Smoky Warbler

Smoky Warbler
Smoky Warbler Phylloscopus fuligiventer weigoldi, Tit-warbler Mountain (36.758683, 99.663055), Qinghai, China, elev. 3620 m (11,880 ft.), July. (Craig Brelsford)

Smoky Warbler Phylloscopus fuligiventer fuligiventer is in Shigatse Prefecture, Tibet; tibetanus in southeast Tibet; and weigoldi in eastern Qinghai, eastern Tibet, and northwest Sichuan. Non-breeding mainly at lower altitudes in northeast Indian Subcontinent. HABITAT Breeds in dense scrub above timberline, between 3000–5000 m (9,840–16,400 ft.). ID & COMPARISON High-altitude and western Chinese counterpart of Dusky Warbler P. fuscatus. Like Dusky, drab-brown, slender, lacking wingbars and with thin bill and distinct buffish-white supercilium. Smoky has darker, sooty-brown upperparts, mainly dusky-olive underparts, shorter and less distinct supercilium behind eye, shorter tail, and darker lower mandible and legs. Race weigoldi much paler below and similar to Dusky; fuligiventer has obvious yellowish tinge to underparts. Sulphur-bellied Warbler P. griseolus and Tickell’s Leaf Warbler P. affinis affinis and P. affinis perflavus are paler and more yellow below and on supercilium. VOICE Call a more rolling chrek than Dusky. Song a single note, tsli, repeated up to 10 times, slower, simpler, and less melodious than Dusky. — Craig Brelsford


Smoky Warbler Phylloscopus fuligiventer weigoldi, song, Tit-warbler Mountain (36.758683, 99.663055), Qinghai, China, elev. 3620 m (11,880 ft.), July, by Craig Brelsford (1:37; 2 MB)

THE LEAF WARBLERS OF CHINA 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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