• Spectacled Warbler


Scientific name
Sylvia conspicillata orbitalis (Wahlberg, 1854)

Taxonomic Status
Endemic Subspecies to Macaronesia

Red Data Book Status

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  • Identification

Small and delicate warbler with brownish plumage and orangey-brown wings. The male has blue-grey head and white throat and abdomen. Female has brown head and back.

  • Voice

Song is fast with intervals of “trrr-trrrr-trrrrr”

  • Ecology

Their nests are made on the inside the bushes mainly Gorse Ulex europeus that protect them from the predators. The specie is very selective in the habitat preferring habitats such as open areas with predominantly non-native species. Their diet is mainly composed by insects.

  • Distribution

The specie breeds in the Western Palearctic especially in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic islands. The subspecies orbitalis is endemic to Macaronesia. In Madeira archipelago the species breeds in Madeira and Porto Santo Islands. 


The specie was first confirmed in Porto Santo in 2001.


  • Spectacled Warbler Sightings


Madeira Island © Birds & Company


March 2012 - Madeira Island © Birds & Company

  • Literature

[1] Barone, R. & Delgado, G. (2001) Adiciones a la avifauna nidificante a la isla de Porto Santo (Archipiélago da Madeira). Vieraea 29: 103 - 109  

[2] Barone, R. & Delgado, G. (2002). Datos de interés sobre las aves nidificantes en la isla de Porto Santo (Archipiélago de Madeira). Revista de la Academia Canaria de Ciencias 15: 219 – 255.   

[3] Equipa Atlas 2008. Atlas das Aves Nidificantes em Portugal (1999-2005). Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, Parque Natural da Madeira e Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e do Mar. Assírio & Alvim. Lisboa. 

[4] Mullarney, Killian; Svensson, Lars; Zetterstrom, Dan; Grant, Peter (1999). Collins Bird Guide. London: Collins. 

[5] Nunes, J., Oliveira, P. & Silva, I. (2002). Recent data on the distribution and conservation status of the Madeiran spectacled warbler, Sylvia conspicillata orbitalis. Airo 12: 93 – 97. 


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