Family Old World Warblers and Parrotbills (Sylviidae)

Least Concern

Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea)


French: Fauvette de Ménétries German: Tamariskengrasmücke Spanish: Curruca de Ménétries

Sylvia mystacea


, 1832,

Sal’yana, lower Kura River, Azerbaijan


Geographical variation at least partly clinal; nominate race grades into turcmenica in N Iran, but evidence for intergradation otherwise scant or not conclusive. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. m. mystacea Ménétries, 1832 – lower R Volga S to E Turkey, SE Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and N Iran; non-breeding S to Arabia and NE Africa.
  • S. m. turcmenica Zarudny & Bilkevich, 1918 – S Turkmenistan and NE Iran, and from S Kazakhstan, C & E Uzbekistan and W Tajikistan S to N Afghanistan, also W Pakistan (NW Baluchistan); non-breeding S to Arabia and NE Africa.
  • S. m. rubescens Blanford, 1874 – SE Turkey S to Syria and C Lebanon#R and E to Iraq and SW Iran; non-breeding S to Arabia and NE Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 7–11·5 g. Rather small warbler with moderately long tail and relatively long and pointed wings. Male nominate race breeding has forehead, crown and ear-... read more


    Song, from bush perch or in flight, also often well-hidden within cover, a rather long (c. 2–... read more


    Breeds in arid or semi-arid areas dominated by scrub and bush from sea-level (Caspian Sea) to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mostly small arthropods, especially insects and their larvae and eggs; outside breeding season, also various berries and fruits (mostly... read more


    Season early Apr to Jul; usually one brood, two in some areas (e.g. Pamir-Alai); in Kura lowland (Azerbaijan), first brood fledges from... read more


    Migratory. Winters S & SW of breeding range, from Sinai Peninsula and NE African Red Sea coast... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common in parts of range. Data on population sizes and densities very sparse for most areas. Population in European part of range (Transcaucasia,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Aymí, R. & Gargallo, G. (2020). Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea). 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 25 February 2020).