Mountain Chiffchaff

Mountain Chiffchaff    Phylloscopus  sindianus


  • Phylloscopus : Greek word phullon – leaf; skopos–seeker
  • Sindianus: From Sind province in Pakistan

Distribution in India: Breedsin Himalayas, winter visitor in plains and foothills.

Description: Size of 10-11cm.It is asmallish brown to grey-brown leaf-warbler with well-defined face pattern and short primary projection. Nominate race has prominent whitish supercilia meeting over base of bill and extending back to rear of ear-coverts, dark eyestripe across lores and along top of grey-brown ear-coverts that are warm brown in fresh plumage; crown and most of upperparts pale brown, tinged grey-brown; flight-feathers and tail feathers dark brown, finely edged olive-brown; below, almost entirely whitish except for buff to warm brown in fresh plumage, breast side and flanks; underwing-coverts white, cream or pale yellowish-white; iris dark brown; bill blackish, yellowish-brown base of lower mandible; legs black.Both the sexes look similar.

Habitat:It is found during breeding season in pine and birch forests, willow swamps, reedbeds, poplar groves, and alders along streams, also in gardens, orchards, sea-buckthorn, bushes and Caucasian rhododendron thickets, and on hillsides covered with juniper in semi-arid mountain valleys up to 4400 m. In non-breeding season, occurs also in tamarisks and acacia scrub along riverbanks.

Food Habits: It eats small insects and spiders, also some small berries in autumn. It usually forages alone or in small groups; in non-breeding season may join mixed-species flocks. Insects are gleaned during active foraging in foliage, also collected on ground; also by flycatching sallies.

Breeding Habits: They breed in May- June in India. The nest is built by female. The nest is a ball of coarse grass stems and dry leaves, plant fibers, animal hair and feathers, well concealed on ground, in low thorn-scrub or bush. They lay a clutch of 2-5 eggs. The incubation is done by female for a period of 10-11 days. The fledging period is 11-12 days.