Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Chinese Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus yunnanensis)


French: Pouillot du Sichuan German: Yunnanlaubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero de Yunnan

Phylloscopus proregulus yunnanensis

La Touche

, 1922,

Mengzi, Yunnan Province, China


Soon after initially described, this taxon was synonymized with P. chloronotus (at the time treated as a race of P. proregulus); but significant differences in morphology, vocalizations, habitat choice and breeding biology now well known, as are sympatric breeding distributions and lack of response to playback of each other’s songs. Present form subsequently described as a new species, P. sichuanensis#R, which was later realized to be a junior synonym of yunnanensis. Monotypic.


C & NE China (E Qinghai, S Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hebei S to Sichuan); non-breeding apparently SE Asia.

Descriptive notes

c. 9–10 cm. A small, rather “chunky” leaf-warbler with prominent head stripes. Median crownstripe is pale olive-grey, more distinct posteriorly than anteriorly (often... read more


Distinctive, unlike that of any congener. Song a hard, metallic, mechanical, monotonous “tsiridi-... read more


Breeds in mountainous areas, chiefly in rather low deciduous broadleaf secondary growth, with some... read more

Food and feeding

Known to eat insects, but no studies undertaken. Forages both in canopy and in understorey; techniques include hovering and short flights.


Poorly known. Territorial from mid-Apr, more commonly from early/mid-May, and eggs found in second half Jun. Nest spherical, with side... read more


Poorly known. Arrives on breeding grounds from mid-Apr, more commonly in first half May; passes... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally abundant in breeding area. In non-breeding season, locally rather common in Thailand. No population estimates.

Recommended citation

Alström, P. (2020). Chinese Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus yunnanensis). 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 17 February 2020).