(Last Updated on : 07-06-2013)
Warblers are a group of small, insectivorous birds forming one of the five subfamilies (Sylviinae) of the family Muscicapidae, with a wide distribution in the Eastern Hemisphere. Warblers are by and large nondescript and confusingly similar. There are about eighty seven species belonging to twenty one genera. Of these, the long-tails Warblers (genus Prinia), the well-known Tailor Bird (Orthotomus sutocola) are widespread residents. The Booted Warbler (Hippolais caligata), six species of Whitethroats (genus Acrocephalus), six species of Grasshopper warblers (genus Locustella) are all widely spread winter visitors. The Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) is a very abundant passage migrant during the month of September through western India. All these breed beyond the Himalaya
, in temperate Eurasia. The Indian Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus stentoreus), however, is an abundant nester in the Kashmir Valley and also in mangroves along the West Coast.
The twenty species of birds belonging to the family of Leaf Warblers (genus Phylloscopus) breed in temperate Eurasia and long the Himalaya and winter in the subcontinent. They are largely subdued browns and greens above and sullied white or yellow below. Leaf warblers are very difficult to identify. A few species, however, have brighter green and yellow plumages. These can be confused with the nine species of flycatcher-warblers (genera Seicercus and Acroscopus) found in mid-altitude Himalayan forests. The tiny Goldcrest Regulus of high-altitude Himalayan coniferous forests resembles a small leaf warbler.
Several species of bush warblers (genera Cettia and Bradypterus) are all great skulkers inhabiting tangled vegetation along the Himalayan foothills with one wintering species confined to Pakistan and an endemic species to the central mountains of Sri Lanka. One species each of Luciniola, Scotocerea, Graminicola, Chaetornis and Megalurus are residents or local migrants with localized ranges in the plains, favouring marsh vegetation. The Thickbilled Warbler (Phragmaticola aedon) is a winter visitor from North East Asia.
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