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Bird name:

Icterine Warbler

Hippolais icterina




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Forest edge, Scrub vegetation areas, Parks and gardens, Woodlands

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth, glossy and buff-rose or pale purple with dark specks and spots.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Deep cup made of bark fibers, spider webs and other plant materials; lined with roots, fur, hair and feathers.

Nest Location:

In shrubs or small tree, usually in fork of small branches.




Icterine Warbler: Robin-sized leaf warbler with long wings. Yellow below, olive-green above with indistinct yellow eye ring and yellow lores, and dark grey wings with pale edging. Has straight, orange bill with dark grey on culmen, and blue-grey legs and feet. Has square-ended tail. Sexes similar. Immatures like adults but with very pale yellow underparts, are light brown above, have pale brown edging to the feathers in the wings, and have a more noticeable, white eye ring that is broken to the rear.

Range and Habitat

Icterine Warbler: Scarce passage visitor to the UK. Breeds during summer in mainland Europe and winters in tropical and southern Africa. Can be seen in autumn, but more likely to be seen on spring passage when birds use a westerly route. Prefers open woodland and forest edges.

Breeding and Nesting

Icterine Warbler: Nest is large, tidy cup built in the fork of a tree or bush, usually 1 - 4 metres above ground. Nest is made of grasses, roots, and moss, and lined with plant down, fine grasses, and rootlets; often attached to twigs with loops of grass. Female is mostly responsible for incubation.

Foraging and Feeding

Icterine Warbler: Feeds mainly on insects, which it takes while perched or fluttering. In late summer will also eat berries and other soft fruits.


Icterine Warbler: Burbling combination of moderately slow and medium to high pitched trills and flute-like sounds. Call is "chi-chi-vooi" and nasal "geea-geea;" also "tak-tak."

Similar Species

Icterine Warbler: Wood Warbler has a well-defined yellow supercilium, dark eye-stripe and has more contrast between the white underparts and the bright yellow breast and throat. Marsh Warbler has longer undertail coverts, a square tail tip and shows buff, not yellow, on underparts.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The uppermost central ridge of the upper mandible.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX