Family Reed-warblers (Acrocephalidae)

Least Concern

Upcher's Warbler (Hippolais languida)


French: Hypolaïs d’Upcher German: Dornspötter Spanish: Zarcero lánguido

Curruca languida

Hemprich and Ehrenberg

, 1833,

northern Lebanon between Beirut, Baalbek and Tripoli#R


Sister to H. olivetorum, the two being fairly close to the pair formed by H. polyglotta and H. icterina. E populations (E from E Iran) sometimes separated as race magnirostris on basis mainly of slightly paler upperparts, but appear indistinguishable from birds elsewhere in range. Monotypic.


Locally in C & S Turkey, Syria, Israel, extreme S Caucasus, Iran, and from SW Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan E in mountains to Tajikistan, Afghanistan and SW Pakistan; winters in E Africa.

Descriptive notes

14–15 cm; 10–20 g. Relatively rather large Hippolais with fairly long, broad-based tail rather wide and rounded distally, and fairly long, strong-based... read more


Song an energetically delivered phrase of mixed nasal, hard notes and clear, more melodious ones,... read more


Trees and tall bushes in variety of habitats: orchards, plantations, maquis on mountain slopes,... read more

Food and feeding

Apparently mainly insects and other invertebrates; no detailed study. Forages mostly in canopy of trees and tall bushes, searching foliage... read more


Late Apr to Jul; possibly double-brooded, at least in part of range. Nest a well-built, neat cup of grasses, plant stems and soft twigs,... read more


Migratory. Spends non-breeding season in E Africa, from S Somalia S to E Uganda, Kenya and NE... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to scarce within much of its range. Detailed data on both distribution and status in much of C Asian range lacking as a result of low... read more

Recommended citation

Svensson, L. (2019). Upcher's Warbler (Hippolais languida). 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).