Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin)


French: Fauvette des jardins German: Gartengrasmücke Spanish: Curruca mosquitera

Motacilla Borin


, 1783,



Geographical variation slight and clinal, colour and size varying gradually from W to E, races intergrading widely in E Europe; species often treated as monotypic#R. Proposed races kreczmeri (from Poland) and pateffi (Bulgaria) considered insufficiently distinct, and synonymized with nominate and woodwardi, respectively. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. b. borin (Boddaert, 1783) – W & C Europe E to Finland, C Poland, W Hungary and W Balkans; winters in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • S. b. woodwardi (Sharpe, 1877) – from Finland and C Poland E to C Siberia (upper R Yenisey) and S to Balkans, Bulgaria, N Turkey and Caucasus; winters in E & S Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    14 cm; 16–22 g (up to 37g prior to migration). A medium-sized, rather robust warbler with rounded head shape, proportionately long and pointed wings, square-ended tail... read more


    Song, normally from lower cover of trees or bushes, very rarely in flight (e.g. when flushing... read more


    Breeds in dense bushes, woodland fringes and riparian forest with abundant undergrowth. Prefers... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insectivorous throughout year and especially during breeding season, when some fruits and plant material also taken; mostly frugivorous in... read more


    Season Apr–Jul. Mainly monogamous, occasional polygyny reported; solitary, territorial breeder. Male display includes initial rapid... read more


    Long-distance migrant. Populations breeding in W Europe first migrate SW, mostly through Iberia,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very common in suitable habitats, and widespread in much of breeding range. European breeding population estimated at more than 17,000,000 pairs and... read more

    Recommended citation

    Aymí, R. & Gargallo, G. (2020). Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin). 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).