Family Leaf-warblers (Phylloscopidae)

Least Concern

White-tailed Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus intensior)


French: Pouillot de Davison German: Davisonlaubsänger Spanish: Mosquitero de Davison

Phylloscopus davisoni intensior


, 1956,

Khao Kuap [12°25’ N 102°50’ E], near Thailand–Cambodia border


Until recently considered conspecific with P. ogilviegranti, and together this complex was treated as “P. davisoni”; with merging of Phylloscopus and Seicercus, however, name davisoni became preoccupied and was replaced by new name muleyitensis#R. On basis of molecular work#R#R, race muleyitensis [= davisoni] was split off from all other members of this complex#R; but vocal analysis now groups intensior not with ogilviegranti but with muleyitensis, name intensior having priority for present species. Song is typically a rising or falling phrase repeated 2–3 times vs a warbled phrase 1.5 s long lacking a repetitive pattern in all races of P. ogilviegranti; repeated phrases and shortest length of repeated phrase yield scores of 2+3 (5)#R; present species differs further from P. o. klossi in its reduced yellow below (1) and more white in tail (1); and from P. o. ogilviegranti and P. o. disturbans in having considerably more white in tail (2). Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. i. muleyitensis (Dickinson & Christidis, 2014) – S China (N, W & C Yunnan), N, E & S Myanmar (S to N Tenasserim), W, NW & NE Thailand, N Laos and N Vietnam (W Tonkin); non-breeding also in E Tonkin and Annam#R.
  • P. i. intensior Deignan, 1956 – SE Thailand (Trat) and W Cambodia (Cardamom Mts).
  • Descriptive notes

    10–11 cm; 5·7–8·1 g. Medium-sized and well-marked leaf-warbler. Nominate race has long bright yellow super­cilium, dark olive lores... read more


    Song is typically a subphrase repeated 2–3 times, sometimes preceded by an introductory note... read more


    Deciduous woodland and mixed conifer woodland, hill forest and bamboo, between 900 m and 2565 m;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food small invertebrates. Forages singly or in pairs; often in small flocks in first half of Apr and often in mixed-species parties outside... read more


    Season Feb–Jun. Nest a ball of grasses, leaves, moss and similar material, placed on ground or up to 3 m above it (usually below 0·5... read more


    Largely sedentary or short-distance altitudinal migrant.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common in most of range; rather uncommon in S China. Very common in Thailand; locally common in N Laos. Within its fairly large... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clement, P. & Christie, D.A. (2019). White-tailed Leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus intensior). 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 22 November 2019).