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Birds of North America, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Common Chiffchaff

Pouillot véloce

Phylloscopus collybita


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Chestnut-sided Warbler

Species: The Common Chiffchaff (Dendroica castanea) is a member of the leaf warbler family seen throughout Eurasia. Quite similar to the Willow Warbler, and very difficult to distinguish apart from one another. One of the methods used to identify these two warblers, is to compare the lengths of the second and sixth primary feathers, but the bird must be in hand for this. In the case of the Common Chiffchaff, the sixth primary feather is longer. Prefers wooded areas for its habitat, can be found in open areas during the migration periods.

Distinctions: The male and female are similar in appearance. Off-white to light brown supercilium, brown cheeks, crown, nape, back and tail. Slightly darker brown wings, with no wing bars. Light brown flanks, and whitish-brown breast. Maybe a hint of green in plumage. It has dark black legs, one indication of its species, but not always reliable. Has a very distinguishable song that will identify it. Unfortunately, the leaf warbler family have many similarities among them. Similar warblers are Willow Warbler, Arctic Warbler, Greenish Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and the Bonnelli's Warbler to name some.

Voice: Chipping call, songs may sound like "chiff, chiff, chaff, chaff, chiff", repeated over.

Nesting: Three to five off-white coloured eggs with dark speckling. Builds nest low to ground, usually in a conifers or bush. The nest is composed of leaves, twigs, mosses, and lined with fine grasses and hair.

Birds of North America
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  • CCNAB
  • CCNAB
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Has been a vagrant visitor from Eurasia

Life, Habitat and Pictures of the Common Chiffchaff

B L W W W Family Latin Name
4.75" 12cm 8.25" 21cm 0.35oz. 10g Phylloscopidae Phylloscopus collybita

  • Summer
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Distribution: Found throughout Eurasia, migrates into Africa during winter months. Has been a vagrant seen in North America.




References to Other Bird Sites:

Avibase - the world bird database

ABA - American Birding Association

AOS - The American Ornitholgy Society

ABC - American Bird Conservancy

eBird - TheCornellLab of Ornithology

NA - National Geographic

NAC - National Audubon Society


Classic Collection of North American Birds

CCNAB