Family Reed-warblers (Acrocephalidae)

Critically Endangered

Saipan Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus hiwae)


French: Rousserolle de Saipan German: Marianenrohrsänger Spanish: Carricero de Saipán
Other common names: Hiwai’s Warbler

Conopoderas luscinia hiwae


, 1942,

Saipan, Mariana Islands


Previously considered a race of †A. luscinius, or, as in HBW, a synonym, but separated at species level based on comprehensive molecular phylogeny, which found strong evidence that Mariana Is were colonized several times by Acrocephalus and that genetically distinct but morphologically indistinguishable populations on Guam (†A. luscinius) and Saipan (present species) must reflect convergence#R. Species name occasionally misspelt hivae. Monotypic.


Alamagan and Saipan, in Northern Marianas Is#R.

Descriptive notes

18–19 cm; 27–38 g (male mean 35·9 g, female mean 32 g). Relatively large reed-warbler with very long bill (proportionately the longest of any Acrocephalus), head... read more


Song is a slow, loud, rather melodious varied phrase of whistles, warbles, harsher notes and trills... read more


Mosaics of elephant grass (Pennisetum purpureum), sword grass (Miscanthus floridulus... read more

Food and feeding

Few data. Diet probably mostly insects, small lizards, spiders (Araneae) and snails. Forages mainly on ground; gleans invertebrates from... read more


Probably breeds year-round, with peaks in Jan–Mar and Jul–Sept. Apparently monogamous, or largely so. Nest constructed almost exclusively... read more


Resident and sedentary.

Status and conservation

CRITICAL. Restricted-range species: present in Mariana Islands EBA. Population estimated at 5331–8054 in 1982, then c. 4572–4577 individuals in 1997, when there were 346 on... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Saipan Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus hiwae). 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 19 April 2019).