Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Brown Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus umbrovirens)


French: Pouillot ombré German: Umbralaubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero oscuro

Sylvia (Ficedula) umbrovirens


, 1840,

Semien Province, Ethiopia


This species, and P. budongoensis, P. herberti, P. laetus, P. laurae and P. ruficapilla, have in the past been placed in genus Seicercus and are sometimes separated in genus Pindalus. Geographical variation in present species broadly clinal; some races perhaps not tenable. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. u. yemenensis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1913) – SW Saudi Arabia and W Yemen.
  • P. u. umbrovirens (Rüppell, 1840) – Eritrea, N & C Ethiopia, Djibouti and NW Somalia.
  • P. u. omoensis (Neumann, 1905) – W & S Ethiopia.
  • P. u. williamsi Clancey, 1956 – N Somalia (Erigavo district).
  • P. u. mackenzianus (#R Sharpe, 1892) – S South Sudan, N & E Uganda, extreme NW, W & C Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • P. u. alpinus (Ogilvie-Grant, 1906) – Rwenzori Mts, along DRCongo–SW Uganda–Rwanda border.
  • P. u. wilhelmi (Gyldenstolpe, 1922) – E DRCongo to SW Uganda, Rwanda (Kivu Volcanoes) and Burundi.
  • P. u. dorcadichroa (Reichenow & Neumann, 1895) – SE Kenya (Chyulu Hills) S to N & NE Tanzania.
  • P. u. fugglescouchmani (Moreau, 1941) – E Tanzania (Uluguru Mts).
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; 8·5–11 g. A medium-sized, fine-billed leaf-warbler with predominantly olive-brown head and upperparts. Nominate race has short (and often indistinct) pale... read more


    Call a short “tee” or “teewee”. Song a varied succession of loud, clear,... read more


    Montane forest, woodland, gorges and scrub, usually between 2100 m and 3600 m, but down to 1900 m... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food mostly small insects, including dipteran flies and moth larvae (Lepidoptera), also spiders (Araneae). Usually alone or in pairs, but... read more


    Breeds in all months, mainly in dry season. Monogamous. Territorial. Nest a ball of dried grasses, moss, leaves, plant fibres and feathers... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally abundant through most of range. Occupies elevational zone in which habitat less likely to be threatened in near future.

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Brown Woodland-warbler (Phylloscopus umbrovirens). 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 18 August 2019).