Family Grasshopper-warblers and Grassbirds (Locustellidae)


Pleske’s Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella pleskei)


French: Locustelle de Pleske German: Pleskeschwirl Spanish: Buscarla de Pleske
Other common names: Pleske's Warbler, Styan's Grasshopper-warbler, Styan's Warbler

Locustella pleskei


, 1890,

Tchimulpa (= Inch’on), South Korea


Has been considered conspecific with either or both of L. certhiola and L. ochotensis, but differs in voice, morphology and ecology. Molecular data reveal intraspecific structure among populations assigned to present species, while simultaneously suggesting that L. ochotensis shows remarkably little divergence#R#R. Monotypic.


Islands in extreme SE Russia (islets in Peter the Great Bay, in S Ussuriland), S Korea (Ulleung I, off E coast, also small islands off S & W coasts) and S Japan (Izu Is, also small islands off SW Honshu and Kyushu), probably also coastal N Korea; non-breeding in coastal SE China and N Vietnam.

Descriptive notes

16–17 cm; 16–24 g. A rather large, plain-looking Locustella with large bill, and strongly graduated longish tail. Plumage is dull greyish olive-brown... read more


Song given at night and throughout day, from prominent exposed perch and in flight, of quiet thin... read more


Breeds in damp areas with thick grasses and reeds, often with shrubs and low evergreen trees or... read more

Food and feeding

Insects. Forages among low cover, but ventures into open situations more often than does L. ochotensis. In S China non-breeding... read more


Breeds May–Jun on Izu Is (Japan); incubation recorded in June in E Russia. Has twisting display-flight between low bushes, placed on... read more


Short-distance migrant; recorded on passage along coast of SE China. Wintering confirmed only at... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Locally common, but breeding confined to small islands in W Sea of Japan and off S coasts of Japan and S Korea. Total population probably declining; estimated at... read more

Recommended citation

Pearson, D. (2019). Pleske’s Grasshopper-warbler (Locustella pleskei). 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 21 March 2019).