Quizbird: Leaf Warbler with a wing bar.

Blåvand, Denmark, 27th May 2015

On the 27th of May this year Henrik Knudsen trapped a wing-barred phylloscopus warbler at Blåvand, Denmark. It wasn’t heard to call.

WP 3-4, 2nd=7 Wing 61.5 mm.

So what species is it? Feathers for DNA which have already been sent off and are awaiting results of their analysis.

I (Martin G) have expressed my opinion on the identification to Henrik (and I will share them). He also has thoughts. What do you think?

warbler two (1 of 1) warbler three (1 of 1) warbler one (1 of 1)


18 thoughts on “Quizbird: Leaf Warbler with a wing bar.

  1. Sebastian Weigand

    I got no idea about measures in hand, but it looks much like Greenish Warbler Phylloscopus trochiloides, doesn`t it?
    Best wishes, Sebastian

  2. andymould

    Bill looks OK for Large-billed Leaf, but maybe too clean looking below? So it’s Green Warbler for me based on yellow in super and on head/neck.

  3. Grahame Walbridge

    Large-billed Leaf has a very distinctive hook-tipped bill which is largely dark, including the lower mandible. It has a much stronger head/face pattern and colder, dark olive-green upper parts.


    Wing point 3=4 is marginally in favour of Green but there is much overlap as in relative position of p2, though if it fell between 6/7 it would favour Green.

    I can see where Martin is going with this, the upper parts do look decidedly green and a pity there isn’t a face-on shot to show the distribution of yellow on the breast ,streaked vs solid.

    Let’s see what the mtDNA tells us.

    1. Julian Hough

      Based on the general coloration of the greenish upperparts and strongly suffused yellow through the super and cheeks (and assumedly the breast?) suggest the bird is a Green Warbler. The hook-tipped bill, a feature I noted in birds inTurkey is evident and the shape of the supercilium, especially where it meets the bill also fit with my mental image of Green.
      The wings are long and while overlap in measurements between the sexes in both Greenish, it is probably on the higher end for Greenish and could assumedly be a female Green. The wingformula would fit Green as would the rather bleached/worn wingbar.
      That’s what I would be calling it on the phone to RBA!

  4. Grahame Walbridge

    Wing length range (per Svensson) are Greenish 54-67mm and Green 60-67mm. A wing length of 61.5mm is mid-range Greenish and right at the bottom end of Green (=female). I don’t think you can read anything into the details of wing formula, either way.

    Having said that, there are certain plumage features which suggest Green.

  5. Blåvand Fuglestation

    I think the old Williamsons: ”Identification guide for ringers” is still usefull and he gives wing length for Greenish 55 – 65 and for Green 58 – 67.
    Bent Jakobsen

  6. Bryon Wright

    Forget the perceived colouration. Field identification from this is mainly tonal. Because the supercilium shape, square ended with attached long thin flourish and the sharpness and definition of the other head markings and covert markings remain constant in all the photos I would also suggest Green. Not the Green one would see in Turkey perhaps, more like the Green Warbler one would see in Central Asia, in a Tashkent Park, feeding quite low down, whilst clinging to the corrugated bark.

  7. Grahame Walbridge

    Thanks for that Bent, I should have checked my Williamson. However, it does not alter the fact that the Danish bird’s wing length is mid-range for both. Williamson also states P6 is less sharpely emarginated.

    I have only seen Green on winter quarters in Sri Lanka but do they really vary in plumage tones from West to East? Here is a bird photographed in Turkey.


  8. Pingback: Greenish or Green? | Birding Frontiers

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