Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Balearic Warbler (Sylvia balearica)


French: Fauvette des Baléares German: Balearengrasmücke Spanish: Curruca balear

Sylvia sarda balearica


, 1913,

Dragonera, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain


Formerly treated as a race of S. sarda, but differs in its paler throat (1); paler belly and flanks (1); smaller size (effect size for wing based on published data#R –3.5, score 2); somewhat different song (to which the other species does not respond; allow 2); clearly different contact calls (at least 2); and migratory pattern (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Balearic Is (except Menorca): Ibiza, Formentera, Mallorca, Dragonera and Cabrera, and largest islets (c. 1–2 km² in size) off coasts of these islands.

Descriptive notes

12 cm; 5·9–9·2 g. Small, long-tailed and delicate warbler with short and rounded wings; less bulky and more graceful than S. sarda. Male breeding... read more


Song, normally from prominent perch on top of low bush or shrub, less frequently from within cover... read more


Favours chiefly dry Mediterranean treeless areas with thick low scrub (c. 1–2 m tall), but... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists mainly of small arthropods; from late spring to autumn also various fruits, e.g. those of Rhamnus ludovici-salvatoris... read more


Season mostly Mar–Jun; two broods, possibly three on rare occasions. Monogamous; solitary, territorial breeder. In song flight, rises... read more


Mostly resident. Hand-reared young exhibit some nocturnal restlessness in autumn, less in spring,... read more

Status and conservation

Not recognized. Common to very common in favourable habitats. Total population estimated at 14,000–25,000 pairs by early 1990s; said to have increased between 1970 and... read more

Recommended citation

Aymí, R. & Gargallo, G. (2020). Balearic Warbler (Sylvia balearica). 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 24 February 2020).