Grass warbler

The grass warblers are small passerine birds belonging to the genus Locustella. Formerly placed in the paraphyletic "Old World warbler" assemblage, they are now considered the northernmost representatives of a largely Gondwanan family, the Locustellidae. The genus name Locustella is from Latin and is a diminutive of locusta, "grasshopper".[1] Like the English name, this refers to the insect-like song of some species.[2]

These are rather drab brownish "warblers" usually associated with fairly open grassland, shrubs or marshes. Some are streaked, others plain, all are difficult to view. They are insectivorous.

The most characteristic feature of this group is that the song of several species is a mechanical insect-like reeling which gives rise to the group's scientific name.

Species breeding in temperate regions are strongly migratory.

The species are:


A fossil acrocoracoid from the Late Miocene (about 11 mya) of Rudabánya (NE Hungary) is quite similar to this bone in the present genus.[3] Given its rather early age (most Passerida genera are not known until the Pliocene), it is not too certain that it is correctly placed here, but it is highly likely to belong to the Locustellidae, or the Sylvioidea at the least. As the grasshopper warblers are the only known locustellid warblers from Europe, it is still fairly likely that the bone piece belongs to a basal Locustella.

Grasshopper warblers
Locustellaluscinioides
Savi's warbler (Locustella luscinioides)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Locustellidae
Genus: Locustella
Kaup, 1829
Species

Locustella accentor
Locustella idonea
Locustella alfredi
Locustella alishanensis
Locustella castanea
Locustella caudata
Locustella chengi
Locustella davidi
Locustella fluviatilis
Locustella kashmirensis
Locustella lanceolata
Locustella luscinoides
Locustella luteoventris
Locustella major
Locustella mandelli
Locustella montis
Locustella naevia
Locustella seebohmi
Locustella tacsanowskia
Locustella thoracica

References

  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 229. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  2. ^ "Grasshopper". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Bernor, R.L.; Kordos, L. & Rook, L. (eds):"Recent Advances on Multidisciplinary Research at Rudabánya, Late Miocene (MN9), Hungary: A compendium Archived 2007-06-28 at the Wayback Machine". Paleontographica Italiana 89: 3-36.
Bougainville thicketbird

The Bougainville thicketbird (Cincloramphus llaneae) is a bird species. It had been placed in the "Old World warbler" family Sylviidae, but it does not seem to be a close relative of the typical warblers; probably it belongs in the grass warbler family Locustellidae. It is endemic to Bougainville Island. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland. It used to be considered conspecific with the Melanesian thicketbird and the New Britain thicketbird.

Bristled grassbird

The bristled grassbird (Schoenicola striatus) is a small passerine bird in the genus Schoenicola. Also known as the bristled grass warbler, this species is endemic to the Indian subcontinent, where it is patchily distributed in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. These insectivorous birds skulk in dense and tall grasslands, often in marshy areas, habitats that are threatened by human activities. Formerly considered to be sedentary, the species may be migratory, moving south and east in the Indian peninsula during winter and returning to their breeding grounds in the northern plains south of the Himalayas.

Bush-warbler

Bush-warblers (or bush warblers) are small insectivorous songbirds belonging to the genera Cettia, Horornis, and Bradypterus. They were formerly placed in the "wastebin" Old World warbler family. Neither genus as traditionally delimited is believed to be monophyletic.Due to their external similarity convergently acquired by strong selective pressures due to the identical habitat, they were occasionally believed to be close relatives. However, they belong to two well-distant families in the Sylvioidea, the "warbler-and-babbler" superfamily:

Cettia, the cettiid bush-warblers or typical bush-warblers, belong in the Cettiidae, an ancient sylvioid lineage related to long-tailed tits.

Horornis, the horornid bush-warblers, also belonging in the Cettiidae, an ancient sylvioid lineage related to long-tailed tits.

Bradypterus, the megalurid bush-warblers, belong to in the Megaluridae, the grass-warbler family which is closely related to the Malagasy warblers and the peculiar black-capped donacobius from South America, formerly believed to be an aberrant wren.

Cape grassbird

The Cape grassbird or Cape grass warbler (Sphenoeacus afer) is an African warbler found in southern Africa.

Chestnut-backed bush warbler

The chestnut-backed bush warbler (Locustella castanea) is a species of Old World warbler in the family Locustellidae. Other common names include the chestnut-backed grass warbler, the cinnamon bracken warbler and the East Indian bush warbler. It is endemic to the islands of Sulawesi, Buru and Seram in Indonesia where it is found on the forest floor.

Evergreen forest warbler

The evergreen forest warbler or Cameroon scrub-warbler (Bradypterus lopezi) is a grass warbler species in the family Locustellidae. It was formerly included in the "Old World warbler" assemblage.

It is found in Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland.

It has a subspecies, Bradypterus lopezi mariae, found in central and western Kenya to northern Tanzania.

Gray's grasshopper warbler

Gray's grasshopper warbler (Helopsaltes fasciolatus), also known as Gray's warbler, is a species of grass warbler in the family Locustellidae; it was formerly included in the "Old World warbler" assemblage.

The Sakhalin grasshopper warbler was formerly considered conspecific.

Lanceolated warbler

The lanceolated warbler (Locustella lanceolata) is an Old World warbler in the grass warbler genus Locustella. It breeds from northeast European Russia across northern Asia to northern Hokkaidō, Japan. It is migratory, wintering in south-east Asia. The genus name Locustella is from Latin and is a diminutive of locusta, "grasshopper". This refers to the song of the common grasshopper warbler and some others in this genus. The specific lanceolata is Latin for "spear-shaped" and refers to the streaks on the breast.This small passerine bird is a species found in grassland with some thicker shrubby vegetation or trees, often close to water in bogs or wet clearings. Five eggs are laid in a nest in a tussock. This species is a rare vagrant to western Europe. One of the best places to see this skulking species as a vagrant is Fair Isle, Shetland.

This is a small warbler. The adult has a streaked brown back, whitish grey underparts, which have small lance-head like streaks, also found on the undertail. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are yellower below. Like most warblers, it is insectivorous.

This is a skulky species which is very difficult to see except sometimes when singing. It creeps through grass and low foliage.

The song is a monotonous mechanical insect-like reeling as in other species in the group, often given at dusk.

Two subspecies recorded, as L. l. lanceolata (Temminck, 1840) and L. l. hendersonii (Cassin, 1858).

Long-tailed bush warbler

The long-tailed bush warbler (Locustella caudata) is a species of grass warbler (family Locustellidae). It was formerly included in the "Old World warbler" assemblage.

It is found only in the Philippines.

Macrosphenidae

The African warblers are a newly erected family Macrosphenidae, of songbirds. Most of the species were formerly placed in the Old World warbler family Sylviidae, although one species, the rockrunner, was placed in the babbler family Timaliidae. A series of molecular studies of the Old World warblers and other bird families in the superfamily Sylvioidea (which includes the larks, swallows and tits) found that the African warblers were not part of the family Sylviidae but were instead an early offshoot (basal) to the entire Sylvioidea clade.

Melanesian thicketbird

The Melanesian thicketbird or Guadalcanal thicketbird (Cincloramphus whitneyi) is a bird species. It used to be placed in the "Old World warbler" family Sylviidae, but it does not seem to be a close relative of the typical warblers; probably it belongs in the grass warbler family, Locustellidae. It is found on two Pacific Ocean islands; Guadacanal in the Solomon Islands and Espiritu Santo in Vanuatu.

The Melanesian thicketbird is around 16.5 cm long, a slender bird with long legs and a long tail.Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest and subtropical or tropical moist montane forest.

It used to be considered conspecific with the New Britain thicketbird and the Bougainville thicketbird.

Moustached grass warbler

The moustached grass warbler (Melocichla mentalis) is a species of African warbler, formerly placed in the Sylviidae family.

It is widely found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, although absent in southern parts of the continent.

Its natural habitats are moist savanna and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland.

New Britain thicketbird

The New Britain thicketbird or Bismarck thicketbird (Cincloramphus grosvenori) is a bird species. It used to be placed in the "Old World warbler" family Sylviidae, but it does not seem to be a close relative of the typical warblers; probably it belongs in the grass warbler family Locustellidae. It is found only in the rarely visited highlands of the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea.

This little-known species was for long classified as a data deficient species by the IUCN, due to the general lack of reliable data on its distribution and numbers. While there have been no records since its discovery in 1959, recent evidence suggests the habitat destruction in the Bismarck Archipelago presents a greater risk than previously believed, leading to the Bismarck thicketbird being listed as a Vulnerable in the 2008 redlist.It used to be considered conspecific with the Melanesian thicketbird and the Bougainville thicketbird.

Pallas's grasshopper warbler

The Pallas's grasshopper warbler (Helopsaltes certhiola) is an Old World warbler in the grass warbler genus Helopsaltes. It breeds in east Asia. It is migratory, wintering from India east to Indonesia, where it is a rare migrant in Sri Lanka.

River warbler

The river warbler (Locustella fluviatilis) is an Old World warbler in the grass warbler genus Locustella. It breeds in east and central Europe into western Asia. It is migratory, wintering in east Africa. The genus name Locustella is from Latin and is a diminutive of locusta, "grasshopper". This refers to the song of the common grasshopper warbler and some others in this genus. The specific fluviatilis is Latin for "of a river".This small passerine bird is a species found in dense deciduous vegetation close to water in bogs or near a river. Five to seven eggs are laid in a nest in a tussock or on the ground. This species is a rare vagrant to western Europe. In Britain, a small number of males have set up territories in spring, including a bird in Greater Manchester in 1995. One exceptional vagrant was photographed in Gambell, Alaska in October 2017.This is a largish warbler. The adult has an unstreaked grey-brown back, whitish grey underparts, and a darker undertail, which has white feather tips giving a contrasting pattern. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are yellower below. Like most warblers, it is insectivorous.

Some birds can show reduced dark markings on the undertail-coverts (caused by more extensive than usual white tips) and thus are closer in appearance to Savi's warbler than typical birds. However, they typically still have a streaked breast and more olive colouration on the upperparts.This is a skulky species which is very difficult to see except sometimes when singing. It creeps through grass and low foliage.

The song is a monotonous mechanical insect-like reeling, often given at dusk. It is similar to the song of other species in the group, but has more of a sewing machine quality, and may be produced for long periods.

Rufous-vented grass babbler

The rufous-vented grass babbler or rufous-vented prinia (Laticilla burnesii) is a small warbler in the family Pellorneidae that occurs in Pakistan, northwestern India and Nepal.

Rusty thicketbird

The rusty thicketbird (Cincloramphus rubiginosus) is a bird species. Previously placed in the "Old World warbler" family Sylviidae, it does not seem to be a close relative of the typical warblers; probably it belongs in the grass warbler family Locustellidae. It is found in New Britain only.

Sakhalin grasshopper warbler

Sakhalin grasshopper warbler (Helopsaltes amnicola), is a species of grass warbler in the family Locustellidae; it was formerly included in the "Old World warbler" assemblage.

Savi's warbler

The Savi's warbler (Locustella luscinioides) is a species of Old World warbler in the grass warbler genus Locustella. It breeds in southern Europe and temperate western Asia. It is migratory, wintering in northern and sub-Saharan Africa.

This small passerine bird is found in reed beds, usually with some bushes. Three to six eggs are laid in a nest in reeds. The adult has an unstreaked grey-brown back, whitish grey underparts and a lack of throat streaks, which is a distinction from the river warbler. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are yellower below. Like most warblers, it is insectivorous. This is not a shy species, but can be difficult to see in the reeds except sometimes when singing.

The "song" is a monotonous mechanical insect-like reeling, often given at dusk. It is similar to the song of other species in the group, but is generally faster and deeper and bears a strong resemblance to that of Roesel's bush-cricket.

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