Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus castaniceps)


French: Pouillot à couronne marron German: Rotkopf-Laubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero coronicastaño
Other common names: Chestnut-crowned Leaf-warbler

Abrornis castaniceps


, 1845,



Previously placed in Seicercus; see Phylloscopidae. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. castaniceps (Hodgson, 1845) – N & NE India (extreme E Uttarakhand E to Arunachal Pradesh, also hills S of R Brahmaputra in Nagaland and Manipur), Nepal, Bhutan, extreme S China (S & SE Xizang, W Yunnan), Bangladesh (Chittagong Hill Tracts) and W & N Myanmar.
  • P. c. sinensis (Rickett, 1898) – C & S China (S Shaanxi S to Sichuan and NW Fujian), N Laos and N Vietnam (W & E Tonkin, N Annam); non-breeding SE China (S Guizhou and SE Yunnan E to S Fujian, S to Guangxi and Guangdong).
  • P. c. laurentei (La Touche, 1922) – SE Yunnan (Mengzi region) and S Guangxi (Yao Shan), in extreme S China.
  • P. c. collinsi (Deignan, 1943) – E Myanmar and NW Thailand.
  • P. c. stresemanni (Delacour, 1932) – S Laos (Bolovens) and SW Cambodia (Cardamom Mts).
  • P. c. annamensis (Robinson & Kloss, 1919) – SC Vietnam (Langbian Plateau).
  • P. c. youngi (Robinson, 1915) – peninsular Thailand.
  • P. c. butleri (E. J. O. Hartert, 1898) – mountains of Peninsular Malaysia.
  • P. c. muelleri (Robinson & Kloss, 1916) – Sumatra.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10·5 cm; 4–6 g. Tiny, acrobatic warbler with prominent pale wingbars. Nominate race has crown and supercilium rufous-chestnut, dark lateral crown-stripe... read more


    Song (only recently described) of an ethereal quality, very thin and very high-pitched, a series of... read more


    Inhabits subtropical humid montane forests, both oak-rhododendron and oak forest, with stands of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Tiny invertebrates, chiefly insects. Extremely active; forages amid outer foliage of upper canopy, quickly hovers, then tumbles down to... read more


    Feb–Jul, generally associated with start of wet season; chiefly Apr–Jun in Indian Himalayas. Nest built by both sexes, a... read more


    Basically resident. Some post-breeding descent to lower elevations, some reaching foothills. At... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to locally common. Most widespread in Himalayan forests from C Nepal E to Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam; scarce to rare in W... read more

    Recommended citation

    Madge, S. (2020). Chestnut-crowned Warbler (Phylloscopus castaniceps). 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 28 February 2020).