Yellow-browed Warbler

Phylloscopus inornatus (Blyth, 1842) YB YEBWA 13000
Family: Passeriformes > Phylloscopidae

Yellow-browed Warbler, Moss Taylor

The Yellow-browed Warbler is a gem of a bird. It is an abundant breeding songbird of the Siberian taiga forests, mostly wintering in south-east Asia.

It has long been known as a scarce autumn visitor to the UK, but numbers have increased sharply in recent years. The majority of records are detected (most easily by call) at well-watched coastal sites on the east coast, but they can appear anywhere.

Numbers peak in October, but small numbers are increasingly found into the winter and even occasionally in spring. This attractive bird is a firm favourite with UK birders.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Yellow-browed Warbler

  • Breeding
  • Winter


Yellow-browed Warbler identification is sometimes difficult.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Yellow-browed Warbler, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.



Yellow-browed Warblers are scarce but increasing autumn migrants to Britain & Ireland. During 2007–11 most records were along the North Sea coast and in southwest England, with just five coastal squares occupied in Ireland. More than three-quarters of squares were occupied only in November, presumably by late migrants, whilst potentially overwintering birds were concentrated into southwest Britain.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2



Yellow-browed Warbler has become a regular autumn passage migrant, typically encountered from September onwards in suitable areas; several individuals have wintered.

Weekly occurence of Yellow-browed Warbler from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.

An overview of year-round movements for the whole of Europe can be seen on the EuroBirdPortal viewer.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.

Foreign locations of birds ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland

Foreign locations of Yellow-browed Warbler ringed or recovered in Britain & Ireland
Encountered in: Winter (Nov-Feb); Spring (Mar-Apr); Summer (May-Jul); Autumn (Aug-Oct)


Lifecycle and body size information about Yellow-browed Warbler, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Ceileiriche-buidhe
Welsh: Telor Aelfelyn
Catalan: mosquiter de doble ratlla
Czech: budnícek pruhohlavý
Danish: Hvidbrynet Løvsanger
Dutch: Bladkoning
Estonian: vööt-lehelind
Finnish: taigauunilintu
French: Pouillot à grands sourcils
German: Gelbbrauen-Laubsänger
Hungarian: vándorfüzike
Icelandic: Hnoðrasöngvari
Irish: Ceolaire Buímhalach
Italian: Luì forestiero
Latvian: dzeltensvitru kaukitis
Lithuanian: geltonbruve pecialinda
Norwegian: Gulbrynsanger
Polish: swistunka zóltawa
Portuguese: felosa-listada
Slovak: kolibiarik žltkastotemenný
Slovenian: mušja listnica
Spanish: Mosquitero bilistado
Swedish: tajgasångare


Interpretation and scientific publications about Yellow-browed Warbler from BTO scientists.


Peer-reviewed papers
Yellow-browed Warbler, by Moss Taylor / BTO

The Yellow-browed Warbler (Phylloscopus inornatus) as a model to understand the mechanisms of vagrancy and its potential significance for the evolution of new migratory routes

2022 | Dufour, P., Åkesson, S., Hellström, M., Hewson, C., Lagerveld, S., Mitchell, L., Chernetsov, N., Schmaljohann, H. & Crochet, P-A.Movement Ecology

In addition to their regular movements, birds are also known for their propensity to move beyond their geographic range limits, a phenomenon known as vagrancy, and a behaviour that provides birdwat

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