Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Canary Islands Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus canariensis)


French: Pouillot des Canaries German: Kanarenzilpzalp Spanish: Mosquitero canario
Other common names: Canary Chiffchaff

Phyllopneuste rufa canariensis


, 1886,

Tenerife, Canary Islands


Formerly treated as a race of P. collybita; elevated to species rank on basis of bioacoustics, morphology and molecular biology. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. canariensis (Hartwig, 1886) – W Canary Is (La Palma, Hierro, Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria).
  • P. c. exsul E. J. O. Hartert, 1907 – Lanzarote, in NE Canary Is (probably extinct).
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm. A medium-sized, rather plain-looking leaf-warbler with short wings. Nominate race has whitish supercilium and thin eyering, contrasting dark eyestripe, olive-... read more


    Call (nominate race) a sharp and clear “hwit”, “huit”, “huii... read more


    Nominate race occurs in gardens, bushes, edges of cultivation, scrub, pine (Pinus) forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on a variety of insects, usually of small size, and also on nectar of plants including Isoplexis canariensis, Canarina... read more


    Season end Jan to Jun. Nest made mostly from grasses, flower petals, dry leaves, plant fibres, animal hair and feathers, placed in tree or... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nominate race is common and widespread, with population estimated at between 100,000 and 150,000 pairs. Race exsul confined... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Canary Islands Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus canariensis). 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 11 December 2019).