Lanceolated Warbler (Locustella lanceolata)

Lanceolated Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Locustellidae | [latin] Locustella lanceolata | [UK] Lanceolated Warbler | [FR] Locustelle lanceolee | [DE] Strichelschwirl | [ES] Buscarla lanceolada | [NL] Kleine Sprinkhaanzanger


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Locustella lanceolata EU n, ne Southeast Asia
Locustella lanceolata hendersonii
Locustella lanceolata lanceolata

Physical charateristics

Smallest, most skulking, and most streaked Locustella, sharing with Grasshopper Warbler rather variable ground-colour to upper- and underparts but lacking any greenish tone above. Best distinguished from Grasshopper Warbler by streaked (not spotted) crown and back, narrower, less diffuse pale edges to tertials and deeper gorget of black streaks on breast.

Listen to the sound of Lanceolated Warbler

[audio: Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 13 cm wingspan max.: 16 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 14 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : North, Northeast


Breeds in upper middle latitudes of (chiefly) east Palearctic, broadly overlapping Pallas?s Grasshopper Warbler but ranging up mountains only to c. 800 m and stopping short of main steppe zone. Appears more attracted to wet or moist situations and to presence of bushes and shrubs, although similarly resorting to tall herbage, reedbeds, and tussocky meadows of grasses and sedges, as well as grass and shrubby openings in pinewood taiga or sparser parts of tall forests, and thickets of willow or other shrubbery and sedge surrounding marshes.


In Russia eggs are laid from mid-June. Nest is built on or near ground in thick vegetation, often well concealed in tussock. Nest is a deep, thick-walled cup of dry grass stems and leaves, moss, and other leaves, lined with finer grass.
Clutch size 3-5 egss whcih are incubated for 13-14 days.

Feeding habits

Diet includes mostly invertebrates like mayflies, grasshoppers, bugs, adult and larval Lepidoptera, caddis flies, adult and larval flies, adult and larval Hymenoptera, adult and larval beetles, ticks, spiders, molluscs. Seeds of herbs also taken.


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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not 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.
Locustella lanceolata has a predominantly Asian distribution, but its breeding range
extends just west of the Urals into north-east European Russia. Its European breeding
population is relatively small (<100,000 pairs), but was stable between 1970-1990. No trend data were available for the Russian population during 1990-2000, but there was no evidence to suggest that its status deteriorated significantly.
Lanceolated Warbler status Least Concern


Migratory. Winters south-east Asia south to Greater Sunda Islands, west to northern India and Andaman Islands, east to Philippines. Records in northern Europe almost entirely in autumn (with marked increase since 1973), and extend from Ouessant (north-west France) north to 75 degrees N (125 km north of Bear Island, Arctic Ocean); most are on Fair Isle (Scotland). Autumn occurrences include considerable proportion of juveniles, and presumably result from reversed migration.

Distribution map

Lanceolated Warbler distribution range map

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