[order] Passeriformes | [family] Sylviidae | [latin] Hippolais pallida | [UK] Olivaceous Warbler | [FR] Hypolaïs pâle | [DE] Blassspötter | [ES] Zarcero pálido | [IT] Canapino pallido | [NL] Vale Spotvogel

Vale Spotvogel determination

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Medium-sized to quite large warbler, with rather long to long bill, flat crown, rather short wings, and sturdy legs.Plumage recalls Garden Warbler, dull grey or brown above and dull white below, with dull supercilium, brighter eye-ring, pale edges to inner flight-feathers,and pale edges and corners to tail. Generally least marked warbler, never showing clear yellow tones. Sexes similar, no seasonal variation

Breeds in lower middle latitudes of west Palearctic, and accordingly experiencing warmer mainly Mediterranean and steppe climate, ranging to subtropics. Seems to breed in lower shrubs and in drier surroundings than other Hippolais, including shrub growth in steppe and semi-desert, and among scattered broad-leaved or coniferous trees on dry river valleys, also parks and gardens.

Hippolais pallida is a summer visitor to south-eastern Europe and Iberia, with Europe accounting for less than half of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is very large (>3,300,000 pairs), but underwent a large decline between 1970-1990. Although it declined in a few countries—notably Greece—during 1990- 2000, the stronghold population in Turkey increased, and the species was stable overall. However, its population size has probably not yet recovered to the level that preceded its decline, and consequently it is provisionally evaluated as Depleted.

Chiefly insects, also fruit in late summer. Forages restlessly among foliage, generally within upper half of bushes and trees, feeding in canopy rather than on it, and taking insects while perched or in flight. Also drops to ground to collect prey.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 6,500,000-13,000,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Breeds May-July in North-West Africa, May-June in Cyprus and Levant, May in Greece. Nest site is built in tree, bush, creeper, etc. Nest is a well built cup of small twigs, grass, plant stems, lined with finer material including hair, rootlets, and some plant down. 2-5 eggs are laid, incubation 11-13 days, usually by female only.

European and Asian populations migratory; some African populations sedentary at south of range. Migratory populations winter mainly in dry areas of Africa north of the equator, from Sénégal east to Eritrea and Somalia, extending to c. 7°S in Tanzania. From west of range, passage (both seasons) through north-west Africa on broad front; from south-east Europe, passage mostly through Levant. Spring migration rather late; main arrival north-west Africa in April, passage through Strait of Gibraltar continuing to early June. Reaches southern Balkans late April, northern Balkans in May.