Sakhalin Leaf Warbler

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Phylloscopus borealoides

Malay Name: Cekup-Daun Kaki Pudar Jepun

Chinese Name: 库页岛柳莺

Range: Found from the Japanese Archipelago, Sakhalin to Kuril islands and winters to Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 11.5 cm

Identification: Adult resembles Arctic Warbler but has dark greyish crown contrasting with olive-greenish mantle, warmish olive-brown rump and pale greyish pink legs and feet. Indistinguishable from the very similar looking Pale-legged Leaf Warbler visually (or oftentimes even in hand), and in the field it can only be told apart by its call (~5Khz instead of ~6Khz) or characteristic song.

Similar looking species: Yellow-browed Warbler, Arctic Warbler, Eastern Crowned Warbler, Pale-legged Leaf Warbler

Habitat: Forest.

Behaviour/Ecology: Usually forages for insects on the forest floor, sometimes climbing up low shrubs and vines to glean prey. May also be found in the mid-storey to canopy levels.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

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Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Jan 22-Jan 28
Early date 26 Nov 2021
Late date 19 Apr 2019
An annual migrant to Singapore in recent years, since the first confirmed sighting in 2013. Indistinguishable from Pale-legged Leaf Warbler without hearing its call (slightly lower pitched) or song (which is extremely different from Pale-legged).


BirdLife International. (2016). Phylloscopus borealoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Hungnon, C., Khudamrongsawat, J., Manawattana, S., Pierce, A. J., & Round, P. D. (2017). Distinguishing between Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides and Pale-legged Leaf Warbler P. tenellipes on call. Forktail, 33, 77-80.

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Yap, F., Yong, D. L., Low, B. W., Lim, K. K., Foley, C., Cros, E., & Rheindt, F. E. (2014). First wintering record of the Sakhalin Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus borealoides in South-East Asia, with notes on vocalisations. BirdingASIA, 21, 76–81.

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