Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus tristis)


French: Pouillot de Sibérie German: Taigazilpzalp Spanish: Mosquitero siberiano

Ph[ylloscopus]. tristis


, 1843,

Calcutta, Bengal


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[2]), and many more different note shapes including overslurred and rising notes (ns[2])#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.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

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.

Descriptive notes

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Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. (2019). Siberian Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus tristis). 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 February 2019).