Hume’s Leaf Warbler

Hume’s Leaf Warbler (Phylloscopus humei), is a small leaf warbler which breeds in the mountains of central Asia from the Hindu Kush and Karakoram east and north to the Tien Shan in China and the Altay Mountains in Mongolia. This warbler is migratory and winters mainly in India. It also occurs in western Europe in October, despite an 1800 mile distance from its natural breeding grounds. This is a common bird of mountain woodlands at altitudes of up to 11,500 feet. The Western Hume’s Leaf Warbler’s range overlaps with that of the Yellow-browed Warbler in the western Sayan Mountains, but the species apparently do not hybridize.

The Hume’s Leaf Warbler is one of the smallest warblers, and shares greenish upperparts and off-white underparts with typical leaf warblers. It is very similar to the Yellow-browed Warbler, sharing a long eye-stripe, crown stripe and well-marked flight feather edges. However, it has only one prominent wing bar, only a faint second wing bar and duller colors. It also has dark legs and lower mandible.

This bird is not shy, although its arboreal life style makes it difficult to observe. It is constantly in motion. Its song is buzzing and high pitched. The best distinction from the Yellow-browed is the more disyllabic call. While the Eastern and Western Hume’s Leaf Warblers already show noticeable differences in DNA sequence and calls, their songs do not differ. They are reproductively isolated only by non-overlapping ranges and not usually considered separate species.

The nest is built on the ground. Like most Old World warblers, this small passerine is insectivorous. This bird is named after Allan Octavian Hume.

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