Paddyfield Warbler

Acrocephalus agricola - Rousserolle isabelle

Rousserolle isabelle
  • Order 


  • Family


  • Genus


  • Species



Jerdon, 1845

  • Size
    : 13 cm
  • Wingspan
    : -
  • Weight
    : 8 à 13 g
Geographic range


Description identification

Rousserolle isabelle
adult plum. breeding
Rousserolle isabelle

The Paddyfield Warbler is very similar in colouration to the Common Grasshopper Warbler. However, it is slightly smaller and slimmer, with a shorter and finer bill, a longer and rounder tail, which appears even longer due to its short wings. It also has a rufous rump. In the field, the best distinguishing criteria is a well-defined, constant-width light buff eyebrow, which clearly surpasses the level of the eye towards the back. Among the four western Palearctic Grasshopper Warblers, this species has the longest eyebrow. This eyebrow stands out even more because it is framed by a rather dark rufous cap above and a dark loral stripe below, which continues behind the eye.
A second important criterion is the primary projection, which is short in this species, scarcely half the length of the tertials. This is the shortest among the 4 Grasshopper Warblers. Moreover, the tertial fringes stand out clearly against the dark brown colour and the legs appear dark on the field. Finally, the bill appears dark too, since it is small and the lower mandible is blackish on the distal half.

Subspecific information 2 subspecies

  • Acrocephalus agricola agricola (Kazakhstan and ne Iran through c Asia to Mongolia and wc China)
  • Acrocephalus agricola septimus (e Europe to Ukraine and w Kazakhstan)

Foreign names

  • Rousserolle isabelle,
  • Carricero agrícola,
  • felosa-agrícola,
  • Feldrohrsänger,
  • rozsdás nádiposzáta,
  • Veldrietzanger,
  • Cannaiola di Jerdon,
  • fältsångare,
  • Åkersanger,
  • trsteniarik roľný,
  • rákosník plavý,
  • Lille Rørsanger,
  • kenttäkerttunen,
  • boscarla dels arrossars,
  • Dvalsöngvari,
  • trzcinniczek kaspijski,
  • palieņu ķauķis,
  • plevelna trstnica,
  • Индийская камышевка,
  • イナダヨシキリ,
  • 稻田苇莺,
  • นกพงนาหิมาลัย,
  • 稻田葦鶯,

Voice song and cries

Rousserolle isabelle
adult plum. breeding

The song is a continuous babble, rather hurried, which is reminiscent of a warbler's song. It includes imitations, which associates it with that of the Paddyfield Warbler. The calls are a warbler's tec and a dry rumbled alarm.


Rousserolle isabelle

The Paddyfield Warbler has similar ecology to the warbler. It is typically a bird of reeds, either pure or interspersed with bushes, but unlike the former, it prefers smaller wetland areas or the margins of large wetlands.

This kind of habitat is predominant in the west. But it also occupies other vegetative facets in both lowland and mountainous areas. For its presence, it needs water and adequate wetland vegetation. It can be found in many different environments such as the edges of water bodies in steppic zones, banks of rivers in even rather desert environments, lagoons, coastal deltas and deltas inland with their irrigation canal networks, etc.

Behaviour character trait

This Paddyfield Warbler has the particularity of making small movements of its tail from up to down while perched or while searching for food in the aquatic vegetation.

Dietfeeding habits

Rousserolle isabelle

The Paddyfield Warbler has an insectivorous diet.

Reproduction nesting

The Paddyfield Warbler breeds in May/June on the shores of the Black Sea.
The nest is a tight cylindrical cup made of reeds and grass, leaves and stems.
The female lays 3 to 6 smooth and glossy eggs, pale green and finely spotted. Incubation lasts 12 to 13 days and is done exclusively by the female.

Geographic range

Rousserolle isabelle

The Paddyfield Warbler mainly occurs in wetlands of Central Asia, starting from eastern Turkey. A more restricted range covers the north and east of the Black Sea, from Bulgaria to the Ukraine. Like the Grasshopper Warbler, it winters in the east, in India and South-East Asia. It is a rare but quite regular passage migrant in France, at the end of summer, as shown by net captures of ringers. This movement probably mostly involves young birds of the year, further complicating identification.

Threats - protection

IUCN conservation status
in the Wild

Sources of information

Other sources of interest

QRcode Rousserolle isabelleSpecification sheet created on 27/07/2023 by
Translation by AI
published: - Updated: 2007-11-25
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