Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

Tickell's Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus affinis)


French: Pouillot de Tickell German: Himalajalaubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero de Tickell

Motacilla Offinis

[sic] Tickell

, 1833,

Barabhum, West Bengal, and Dhalbhum, Bihar, India


In past, often treated as conspecific with P. subaffinis, but differs in morphology, voice and habitat; molecular study#R indicates not closely related. Recently described form occisinensis#R was originally given species rank, but is virtually identical in song to nominate and less divergent morphologically from nominate than is simultaneously described perflavus#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. perflavus Martens et al., 2008 – W Himalayas in N Pakistan and NW India (Karakoram Range, Kashmir); E limit not defined, probably W Nepal#R#R. Non-breeding at lower altitudes S to S India.
  • P. a. affinis (Tickell, 1833) – Tickell's Leaf-warbler – C & E Himalayas from Nepal to NE India and S China (SE Xizang, including Lhasa region)#R; non-breeding at lower altitudes S to S India and Myanmar.
  • P. a. occisinensis Martens et al., 2008 – Alpine Leaf-warbler – high-altitude ranges in C China (E Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan, N Yunnan); recorded in non-breeding season in S China (Yunnan).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 5·5–7·75 g. A small to medium-sized leaf-warbler with yellowish supercilium and underparts. Long supercilium is pale yellow, becoming... read more


    Song, from tops of low bushes and boulders, mostly Apr to end Jul but also on passage in Sept, a... read more


    Breeds among rocks and low bushes in dry barren mountains, alpine and subalpine willows (Salix... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food mostly small insects, including weevils (Curculionidae) and other small beetles (Coleoptera), aphids (Aphidoidea), flies (Diptera),... read more


    May–Aug; fledglings first week Jul; one brood. Nest, built by both sexes, a ball of dry grasses, plant fibres (including of juniper)... read more


    Migratory. Altitudinal migrant, moving short to medium distances to lower levels. Passage through... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common and widespread in breeding season in Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and N India; locally common in S China. Uncommon non-breeding visitor in Myanmar... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. (2019). Tickell's Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus affinis). 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 June 2019).