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Western Orphean Warbler - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by john-henry
Spanish Pyrenees, June 2003
Curruca hortensis

Sylvia hortensis


15 cm (6 in)

  • Long and pointed bill
  • Black legs
  • White iris


  • Plain grey back
  • Whitish underparts
  • Black legs
  • Dark grey head
  • Black eye mask
  • White throat

Females and immatures have a paler head and buff underparts, grey back with a brownish tinge. The iris is dark in young birds.


Around the western Mediterranean.
Breeds in Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Formerly bred in Switzerland.
Winters in sub-Saharan Africa.


This is a polytypic species[1] consisting of 2 subspecies.
This species was formerly lumped with Eastern Orphean Warbler to Orphean Warbler.



They are normally found in various open and semi-open woodland with bushy cover.



Monogamous. Both adults construct the nest in a bush or tree. Their clutch contains 4-6 eggs.


The diet consists mostly of arthropods, particularly insects, such as spiders, and their larvae. After the breeding season they add berries to their diet.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2019)

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