Hippolais olivetorum (Olive-tree warbler) 

Olyfboomsanger [Afrikaans]; Griekse spotvogel [Dutch]; Hypolaïs des oliviers [French]; Olivenspötter [German]; Felosa-das-oliveiras [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Sylviidae > Genus: Hippolais

Distribution and habitat

It has a small estimated population of 17 200-25 000 pairs, breeding around the north-eastern corner of the Mediterranean, from Croatia to Syria. In the non-breeding season it heads south to small areas of Egypt, Kenya, Malawi and southern Africa. Here it is uncommon and difficult to see, as it is unobtrusive, skulking through  undergrowth of Acacia savanna. It may also occur in moist woodland

Distribution of Olive-tree warbler in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Movements and migrations

It arrives in southern Africa from late November-December, staying until the second half of March, rarely


Its diet is not been adequately studied, however it has been observed foraging in dense undergrowth, probably feeding on small arthropods.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

  • Harrison, J.A., Allan, D.G., Underhill, L.G., Herremans, M., Tree. A.J., Parker, V. & Brown, C.J. (eds). 1997. The atlas of southern African birds. Vol. 2: Passerines. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.



 Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Birds home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search