This is a warbler similar in size and shape to a chiffchaff. The adult has an unstreaked brown back and buff underparts. There is a prominent whitish supercilium, and the bill is fine and pointed. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are more olive-tinged above.

Habitat and Distribution

This is an abundant bird of taiga bogs and wet meadows. It breeds in east Asia. This warbler is strongly migratory and winters in southeast Asia. It sometimes occurs in North America in Alaska, and has also occurred in California.


Like most warblers, it is insectivorous, but will take other small food items, including berries.


The nest is built low in a bush, and 5-6 eggs are laid.

Calls and Songs

The song is a monotonous whistle, and the call is a harsh check. The call is often the first clue that this typically skulking species is present, away from the breeding grounds.