Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Sulphur-breasted Warbler (Phylloscopus ricketti)


French: Pouillot de Rickett German: Goldscheitel-Laubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero de Rickett
Other common names: Sulphur-breasted Leaf-warbler

Cryptolopha ricketti


, 1897,

Kuan-t’un, north-west Fujian, south-east China


Has sometimes been treated as conspecific with P. cantator, and this is a serious option, with the inclusion of P. calciatilis; but differs from P. calciatilis in characters given under that species. Differs from P. cantator in its yellow vs white belly (3); bolder or blacker sides of crown, contrasting with bright yellow supercilium (1); longer wing (effect size for males on published evidence#R 1.96, score 1); and more stereotyped (1) and slightly lower-pitched song (1). P. goodsoni (hitherto considered conspecific with P. reguloides) was in the past treated as a race of present species. Monotypic.

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

C, S & E China (S Gansu and Sichuan E to Hubei and Fujian, S to Guizhou, N Guangxi and E Guangdong); non-breeding Thailand, S Laos and Cambodia.

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm. A medium-sized leaf-warbler with bright yellow head stripes and underparts. Has prominent head pattern of blackish crown side, greenish-yellow central... read more


Song a high-pitched series of short quick phrases, accelerating towards end, “sit siri sii-... read more


Mixed deciduous and semi-evergreen forest, juniper (Juniperus) forest and sparse... read more

Food and feeding

Food small invertebrates. Forages singly or in pairs; often in mixed-species parties outside breeding season. Feeds in canopy. Very active... read more


Little known. Season May–Jul; eggs in Jun, nestlings in Jul. Nest on ground among boulders, or up to 1 m from ground in vegetation. read more


Little known. Moves S after breeding, but no detailed information available.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon in breeding range in China. Uncommon to locally common non-breeding visitor in Thailand and Indochina; occurs in Khao Yai... read more

Recommended citation

Clement, P. (2019). Sulphur-breasted Warbler (Phylloscopus ricketti). 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 20 June 2019).