Family Reed-warblers (Acrocephalidae)

Least Concern

Isabelline Warbler (Iduna opaca)


French: Hypolaïs obscure German: Isabellspötter Spanish: Zarcero bereber
Other common names: Western Olivaceous Warbler

Hypolais[sic] opaca


, 1851,

#R, Senegal


Previously considered conspecific with I. pallida. Monotypic.


E & S Spain, also NW Africa in Western Sahara, much of Morocco, and E along coastal range and N mountains in Algeria and Tunisia (S to S slopes of Atlas) apparently to coastal NW Libya; winters in W Africa from Senegambia E to W Chad.

Descriptive notes

13·5–15 cm; 9–17 g. A pale Hippolais with fairly long tail, which often looks rather full and with rounded sides when folded; strong legs; very... read more


Song rather well articulated, a mixture of hard, soft, nasal and scratchy notes, phrases vary... read more


Trees and tall bushes in many different habitats: dense gardens, parks, riverine forest, dense tall... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects and spiders (Araneae). Recorded items are dragonflies (Odonata), moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera) and ants (Hymenoptera... read more


Season late Apr to Jun. Nest a well-built cup of plant stems and soft twigs placed in fork of branch, often at 1–4m. Clutch usually 3... read more


Migratory. Non-breeding quarters in W Africa, mainly in Sahel zone from S Mauritania and Senegal E... read more

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Rather common within much of its N African range. More local and scarce in Spain, in particular in N; total population estimated at 5200 pairs; large numbers in... read more

Recommended citation

Svensson, L. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Isabelline Warbler (Iduna opaca). 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 2 April 2020).