Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis)


French: Pouillot boréal German: Wanderlaubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero boreal
Other common names: Arctic Leaf-warbler

Phyllopneuste borealis

J. H. Blasius

, 1858,

north coast of Sea of Okhotsk, Russia


Recent reviews and analyses#R#R#R#R suggest that two taxa long associated with present species merit separate species status as, respectively, P. examinandus and P. xanthodryas (see both), but that long-standing race kennicotti (W Alaska) should not be recognized. Other proposed races are talovka (Scandinavia E to S Siberia and NW Mongolia), transbaicalicus (E Siberia and N Mongolia) and hylebata (NE China and SE Russia S to N Korea). Monotypic.


N Europe (N & E Fennoscandia, N Russia) E through N Siberia to R Kolyma and Russian Far East (excluding Kamchatka), S to SC Siberia (L Baikal), Mongolia and NE China (NE Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang), also NW USA (W Alaska); non-breeding SE Asia (S Myanmar E to Vietnam), SE China (Fujian, N Guangdong) and Taiwan S to Sundas and Moluccas.

Descriptive notes

12–13 cm; 7·5–11·5 g. Slender leaf-warbler with sloping forehead and short-tailed appearance, long primary projection, strong and broad-based bill,... read more


Song, from near top of tree, mid-May to mid-Oct (peak late May to mid-Jun), a series of loud but... read more


Breeds in thick undergrowth, e.g. dwarf willow (Salix) clumps in damp valleys and riverine... read more

Food and feeding

Food mostly small insects and other invertebrates, principally midges (Chironomidae), mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera),... read more


Late Jun to Aug; one brood. Mainly monogamous, but poly­gyny recorded occasionally in Finland and Russia. Territorial; territory... read more


Migratory. All populations spend non-breeding season in SE Asia; those from extreme W of range... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common or locally common. European breeding population estimated at c. 1,000,000 breeding pairs, of which most in Russia (where total... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Arctic Warbler (Phylloscopus borealis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 May 2019).