Family Reed-warblers (Acrocephalidae)

Least Concern

Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola)


French: Rousserolle isabelle German: Feldrohrsänger Spanish: Carricero agrícola

Sylvia (acrocephalus) agricola


, 1845,

near Nellore, Tamil Nadu, India


Has been considered conspecific with one or both of A. tangorum and A. concinens; differs from each, however, in combination of plumage characters and biometrics; furthermore, DNA studies indicate c. 7.5% divergence from A. tangorum. Geographical variation appears very weak, as plumage differences heavily influenced by effects of wear. Race capistratus frequently merged with nominate, while initial discovery of substantial genetic difference (4.5%) between races septimus and nominate#R is now considered erroneous, as more detailed DNA analysis found no evidence of molecular structure between these two; the species is perhaps best treated as monotypic#R#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. septimus Gavrilenko, 1954 – Black Sea coast in E Europe (E Romania, E Bulgaria) E to S Ukraine and W Kazakhstan (lower R Ural and lower R Ilek); also (possibly this race) E Turkey. Winters in SE Iran and W Indian Subcontinent.
  • A. a. capistratus (Severtsov, 1873) – SW Siberia and Kazakhstan (except W) E to upper R Yenisey and W Mongolia, S to NE Iran, Tajikistan and NW China (Xinjiang), possibly also Afghanistan (Logar) and Pakistan (N Baluchistan)#R. Winters in Indian Subcontinent.
  • A. a. agricola (Jerdon, 1845) – C Asia (details uncertain); winters in SE Iran and Indian Subcontinent.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; 7–14 g. Unstreaked reed-warbler with particularly distinct supercilium, relatively short bill, long and distinctly rounded tail (outermost feathers c.... read more


    Song distinctive, a quite pleasant, somewhat hurried series of chortled phrases, more melodious... read more


    Breeds in reeds (Phragmites), chiefly low-growing and open, also reedmace (Typha... read more

    Food and feeding

    Recorded food includes mayflies (Ephemeroptera), dragonflies (Odonata), bugs (Hemiptera, including cicadids), caddis flies (Trichoptera),... read more


    Begins in mid-May (peak of laying 18th-23rd May) on N coast of Black Sea, with probable second-brood fledglings up to mid-Aug; incubated... read more


    Migratory; post-breeding movement to E Iran and Indian Subcontinent. Main autumn movement Aug... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common. European population slowly increasing; latest estimate 470,000–880,000 pairs. Since 1960s has become common in Ukrainian rice... read more

    Recommended citation

    Dyrcz, A. (2019). Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola). 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 18 April 2019).