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Species Guide

Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler

Helopsaltes ochotensis

The Middendorff's grasshopper warbler, known scientifically as Helopsaltes ochotensis, is a diminutive bird measuring approximately 15.5 cm in length. It boasts a greyish brown crown, nape, lores, and eye-stripe, while its mantle is tinged with a more olive hue. A pale creamy supercilium extends to the ear coverts, contrasting with the rump and uppertail coverts which display a yellowish or rufous brown. The bird's tail is graduated and white-tipped, often appearing rounded.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify this elusive warbler, look for its distinctive tail and the contrast between its creamy supercilium and the greyish brown of its head. The bird's overall plumage is a subtle blend of browns and olives, which can be a challenge to discern among the dense vegetation of its habitat.


Middendorff's grasshopper warbler favors forests in close proximity to water bodies, as well as scrubwoods. These environments provide the cover and resources necessary for the bird's survival.


This species breeds in the far reaches of eastern Siberia, extending to northern Japan, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the northern Kuril Islands. When winter arrives, it migrates to warmer climes, including the Philippines, Borneo, and Sulawesi. Smaller populations can be found wintering in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and even parts of the U.S.A.


The Middendorff's grasshopper warbler is known for its high-pitched song and its short song flights, which are characteristic behaviors of this species.

Song & Calls

The vocal repertoire of this warbler includes a high-pitched, spaced "chit, chit," which leads into a trilled "trrrrrrrr-schoy-schoy-schoy." Additionally, it emits a "tluk, tluk" call, adding to its distinctive auditory presence in its habitat.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List categorizes the Middendorff's grasshopper warbler as Least Concern, indicating that, currently, there are no immediate threats to its population numbers that would warrant a higher level of concern.

Middendorff's Grasshopper Warbler Sounds

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Middendorff's Grasshopper Warblers on Birda


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