Usually treated as conspecific with P. collybita, but differs in its almost total replacement of yellow in plumage with buffy grey-brown, with no olive in crown or mantle (1); blacker bill and legs (1); buff-washed pale supercilium (ns); distinctive call and song, latter having a faster pace (at least 2), narrower frequency range of notes (3), lower maximum frequency (ns), and many more different note shapes including overslurred and rising notes (ns)#R. Broad intergradation with P. c. abietinus in W of range, as reported in HBW, poorly documented, with contradictory distributional evidence; research in progress, with recent suggestion that hybrid zone may be only 10 km wide#R. Name fulvescens proposed for seeming intergrades from (roughly) R Pechora to R Yenisey, but birds in question sing like present species, resulting in name being synonymized, although plumage has variable degrees of yellow; situation further confused by presumed P. collybita in Middle East and Caucasus reported as giving calls like those of present species; research required. Monotypic.
Russia, from Kanin Peninsula E to R Kolyma (possibly to R Anadyr), S to S Urals, N Kazakhstan, NW China, NW Mongolia and L Baikal; non-breeding S Iraq, S Iran and Arabia E to India and Bangladesh.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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