Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) - HBW 11, p. 649

French: Pouillot véloce German: Zilpzalp Spanish: Mosquitero Común
Other common names: (Eurasian) Chiffchaff; Siberian Chiffchaff (tristis)

Taxonomy: Sylvia collybita Vieillot, 1817, Normandy, France.
Forms a superspecies with P. ibericus and P.canariensis, and until recently treated as conspecific. Also close to P. sindianus, which has similarly been treated as conspecific, but is genetically ­distinct. Hybridization with latter and with P. trochilus recorded. Geographical variation partially clinal, upperparts becoming paler or colder grey and underparts whiter from W to E, but variably paler and darker individuals found in all races. Race tristis has been treated as a separate species, but intergrades with abietinus in wide area of overlap; .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Sylvia collybita Vieillot, 1817, Normandy, France.
Forms a superspecies with P. ibericus and P.canariensis, and until recently treated as conspecific. Also close to P. sindianus, which has similarly been treated as conspecific, but is genetically ­distinct. Hybridization with latter and with P. trochilus recorded. Geographical variation partially clinal, upperparts becoming paler or colder grey and underparts whiter from W to E, but variably paler and darker individuals found in all races. Race tristis has been treated as a separate species, but intergrades with abietinus in wide area of overlap; further research required. Proposed race fulvescens from C Asia (approximately between R Pechora and R Yenisey) considered probably an intergrade between two aforementioned races, but clarification required. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • abietinus (Nilsson, 1819) - breeds Scandinavia (except S) and NW Russia (E at least to R Pechora), and in S from C & E Germany to Black Sea; non-breeding Balkans S to W, NE & E Africa and Arabia.
  • collybita (Vieillot, 1817) - breeds British Is E to S Sweden, and from France and E Spain to W Germany, S Poland, Balkans and NW Turkey; non-breeding around Mediterranean (sporadically to S Ireland, C England and Netherlands) and from NW Africa (including Canary Is) to Middle East.
  • tristis Blyth, 1843 - breeds Russia (from at least R Pechora E to R Kolyma, possibly to R Anadyr), S to NW Black Sea, N Kazakhstan, NW China, NW Mongolia and L Baikal; non-breeding S Iraq, S Iran and Arabia E to India and Bangladesh.

     See all 6 subspecies
  • abietinus (Nilsson, 1819) - breeds Scandinavia (except S) and NW Russia (E at least to R Pechora), and in S from C & E Germany to Black Sea; non-breeding Balkans S to W, NE & E Africa and Arabia.
  • collybita (Vieillot, 1817) - breeds British Is E to S Sweden, and from France and E Spain to W Germany, S Poland, Balkans and NW Turkey; non-breeding around Mediterranean (sporadically to S Ireland, C England and Netherlands) and from NW Africa (including Canary Is) to Middle East.
  • tristis Blyth, 1843 - breeds Russia (from at least R Pechora E to R Kolyma, possibly to R Anadyr), S to NW Black Sea, N Kazakhstan, NW China, NW Mongolia and L Baikal; non-breeding S Iraq, S Iran and Arabia E to India and Bangladesh.
  • brevirostris (Strickland, 1837) - highlands of NW & N Turkey.
  • caucasicus Loskot, 1991 - Caucasus and Transcaucasus S to NW & N Iran.
  • menzbieri Shestoperov, 1937 - NE Iran and Turkmenia.