Subalpine warbler identification
Female Subalpine Warbler
Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide
Play call
Adult male
White eye ring around faint red eye
Long tail
Female much harder to ID. Throat often shows a pale pink tinge, legs are yellow instead of red and eye is only faintly red. Back and head are similar colours, white stripe on cheek is still there but not as promanent as cheek is pale white.
White stripe on cheek with red eye ring
Pale belly

Subalpine Warbler

Sylvia cantillans
Pinkish red breast
Similar Species
Dartford Warbler (Rare)
Long tail
Dark red breast
Pale spots on throat
Brownish-grey head and back
Red eye ring
Bill yellow at base
Adult Female
Dartford warbler
Play Song
Sardinian Warbler (Rare)
Sardinian Warbler
Long dark tail with white edges
Whitish underside
Pale grey back
Deep black head and cheeks
Red eye ring
Distinctive white throat
White eye ring
Pale whitish underside
Bright chestnut wings
Bluish grey head
Dull brown back
Distinctive white throat
Long tail, dark, edged white
Lesser Whitethroat
Dark smudge through eye
Pale whitish underside pink tinge
Dull grey-brown back
Bluish grey head
Dark grey legs
Distinctive white throat
Long tail, dark, edged white
Lesser Whitethroat
Warbler Menu
Order: Passeriformes

Family: Sylviidae

Genus: Sylvia

Species: S. cantillans
The Subalpine Warbler is easily confused with the Dartford Warbler. Birds found outside of known Dartford Warbler territories warrant detailed examination. The most distinctive feature is the white stripe on the birds cheek, although on the female this is less prominent due to her cheek also being a pale colour. To add further confusion the female lacks the bright red eye and legs, although if close enough it is possible to see the faint red tinge in the eye which has an outer ring of white.
Open woodland, scrub and bushy pasture.
Very rare vagrant to the UK where it can unexpectedly  turn up almost anywhere. Breeds in the Mediterranean area and winters in North Africa and Arabia.