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Sakhalin Leaf Warbler

Phylloscopus borealoides

The Sakhalin leaf warbler, Phylloscopus borealoides, is a diminutive and sprightly bird, a member of the Old World warbler family Phylloscopidae. It presents a rather cryptic plumage, with a long white supercilium that stands out against its broad, dark brown eye-stripes. The crown and upper parts of this bird are cloaked in the same dark brown, while the cheeks take on a greenish-brown hue, mottled with the ear-coverts. A notable feature is its bill, which is dark but with a pink base that extends to the lower mandible, and its legs are of a pale pinkish-brown shade.

Identification Tips

When attempting to distinguish the Sakhalin leaf warbler from its close relatives, one may observe that its upperparts bear a slightly more greenish tinge. However, identification is more reliably achieved through its vocalizations, which are lower-pitched compared to those of similar species, although there is some overlap in the pitch ranges.


The Sakhalin leaf warbler is a denizen of temperate forests, where it flits about in the understory, often hidden from the casual observer.


This bird is indigenous to Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and Japan. During the winter months, it migrates to the warmer climes of the Amami and Okinawa islands.


The Sakhalin leaf warbler is known to nest in shrubs, indicating a preference for dense vegetation within its forested habitat.


The breeding habits of the Sakhalin leaf warbler involve constructing nests within the sanctuary of shrubs, providing a secure environment for raising its young.

Similar Species

The pale-legged leaf warbler is often mistaken for the Sakhalin leaf warbler due to their similar appearance. However, careful observation of their vocalizations and slight differences in plumage can aid in correct identification.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List has classified the Sakhalin leaf warbler as Least Concern, suggesting that, for now, this species does not face immediate threats to its survival.

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Sakhalin Leaf Warblers on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Jay Partridge
31 May 2023 - 10:07pm

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A photo of a Tickell's Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus affinis)

Tickell's Leaf Warbler

Phylloscopus affinis
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