Olive-Tree Warbler

Olive-Tree Warbler


Profile Olive-Tree Warbler
[order] Passeriformes |

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Sylviidae | [latin] Hippolais olivetorum | [UK] Olive-Tree Warbler | [FR] Hypolaïs des olviers | [DE] Olivenspötter | [ES] Zarcero grande | [IT] Canapino levantino | [NL] Griekse Spotvogel

Griekse Spotvogel determination

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Close in size to Barred Warbler but with longer bill and slightly shorter tail.
Large pear-shaped warbler, with heavy bill, rather flat crown, noticeably long wings, and heavy legs. Largest and deepest-billed Hippolais, with bulk recalling larger Acrocephalus warbler at times.
Closed wing-point forms 1/3 of total wing length, with primary-tips reaching beyond end of upper tail-coverts. Dusty or brownish-grey above, dusty-white below, with quite broad fore-supercilium, fairly distinct eye-ring, indistinct pale wing-bar, pale edges to inner flight-feathers forming wing panel, and greyish wash from side of neck to rear flank.
Sexes similar, little seasonal variation.

Breeds in lower middle latitudes of west Palearctic in east Mediterranean zone. Also more coastal, insular, and arboreal, not ranging deep into continental hinterland but inhabiting marine islands and frequenting open-canopy oak woods, olive groves, orchards, almond plantations, and areas of other well-spaced trees with ample crowns.

Hippolais olivetorum is a summer visitor to south-eastern Europe, which constitutes
>95% of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is relatively
small (The distribution of this warbler is restricted to south-eastern Europe and the Near East, as far as Syria. It winters in eastern and south-eastern Africa. It inhabits open habitats with scattered trees, olive-tree plantations and orchards. Its Greek population seems to be stable

Presumably chiefly invertebrates; figs recorded in late summer. Forages mainly within canopy of trees, also in bushes, and recorded feeding methodically on ground.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 21,000-45,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Eggs laid second half of May and June. Nest site located in low tree, especially olive or oak, or in bush, height above ground 0.5-3 m. Nest is a deep rounded cup of grass, plant stems, strips of bark, and rootlets, including plant down, lined with fine pieces of grass, root fibres, sparingly with horse-hair, sometimes with plant down. Outside covered with thick layer of spiders’ webs. 3-4 eggs are laid, Incubation no longer than 13 days.

Migratory, all birds wintering in eastern and southern Africa, from Kenya south to Natal (South Africa). Reported only from scattered localities, usually in acacia country. Recorded infrequently on passage in both seasons, chiefly single birds. Departs south chiefly end of July to early September. Arrives in breeding range early May, occasionally in April.


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 24 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 26 cm
  4. size min.: 14 cm
  5. size max.: 16 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 12 days
  8. incubation max.: 13 days
  9. fledging min.: 0 days
  10. fledging max.: 0 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 3
  13. eggs max.: 4
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Griekse Spotvogel status Least Concern
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