Paddyfield Warbler (Acrocephalus agricola)

Paddyfield Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Acrocephalidae | [latin] Acrocephalus agricola | [UK] Paddyfield Warbler | [FR] Rousserole isabelle | [DE] Feld-Rohrsanger | [ES] Carricero agricola | [NL] Veldrietzanger


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Acrocephalus agricola EU c s Asia to Burma
Acrocephalus agricola agricola
Acrocephalus agricola septimus

Physical charateristics

Close in size to Reed Warbler but with stubbier bill, noticeably shorter wings, and slightly longer tail. Medium-sized, robust, quite bold but skulking warbler, resembling Reed Warbler and other unstreaked Acrocephalus. Varies from dusky olive-brown through reddish and almost orange-brown to sandy-brown. Shows rather short, but quite broad, cream or buff supercilium, dark-centred tertials, and rufous rump.
Behaviour includes pronounced raising of tail. Sexes similar, some seasonal variation.

Listen to the sound of Paddyfield Warbler

[audio: Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 15 cm wingspan max.: 17 cm
size min.: 13 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 12 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 13 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Eurasia : Central


Breeds in continental, dry, warm mid-latitudes, in lowlands at least in west Palearctic, extralimital situation being confused by changes in taxonomic status of A. concinens. Mostly in stands of tall, thick-stemmed reed on open-water side of reedbed.


Breeds May-June in Black Sea area. Nest is a tightly constructed cylindrical cup of reed and grass leaves and stems, woven round 2-8 vertical stems of water plants. Lined with finer grasses and read flowers, occasionally with plant down. 3-6 eggs are laid, incubation 12-13 days by female only.

Feeding habits

Chiefly insects, taken from surface of emergent and waterside vegetation. Will also cling sideways on plant stem and lunge to snap up insects from water surface.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Acrocephalus agricola is a summer visitor to the eastern European countries adjoining
the Black Sea, with Europe accounting for a tiny proportion of its global breeding
range. Its European breeding population is large (>470,000 pairs), and increased
between 1970-1990. Although the small population in Turkey declined during 1990-
2000, key populations in Romania and Russia were stable or increased respectively,
and the species probably increased slightly overall.
Paddyfield Warbler status Least Concern


All populations migratory, wintering (except tangorum) in Pakistan east to Assam, in southern Nepal, and throughout peninsular India (none in Sri Lanka). Main autumn movement August-September. In west of range, north-east Bulgaria, Rumania, and Crimea, recorded until mid- or late September. Birds apparently head east via northern Caspian region and Kazakhstan; high numbers occur in Ural valley, July-September. Passage at times extremely numerous with over 150 caught daily, chiefly late July to early September, continuing to late September. Peak passage of immatures in first and last weeks of August. Recorded on passage through mountains up to 5000 meter. Spring migration begins in March, with records in India until late May. Occurs in small numbers north-west of breeding range in both passage seasons. Birds in Britain and Ireland are presumably mostly reverse migrants: 13 autumn records, of which 11 mid-September to late October, and only 1 in spring. Those in Finland apparently chiefly overshooting.

Distribution map

Paddyfield Warbler distribution range map

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