The overall distribution of this species can be assessed, and
specific locations where birds have been spotted can be found,
based on individual sighting reports submitted by birdwatchers to
The global distribution of the Common Chiffchaff is available
There are 3 races of Common Chiffchaffs, which are a strongly
migratory Eurasian species, part of which winter in Arabia and
They are found as permanent residents only in parts of western
and southern Europe (nominate race "collybita").
During the northern summers they extend their breeding range
into the rest of Europe, except parts of Scandinavia, and into
most of mid- to high-latitude Asia, southward of the Arctic
circle, as far to the East as eastern Siberia. Part of the
population also breeds in northern Turkey, around the Caucasus
mountain range and along the southern coastal fringe of the
Caspian Sea in northern Iran.
The migratory populations spend the winters around the
Mediterranean Sea (Iberia, parts of Italy, southern Greece,
the Mediterranean islands), in northern Africa (around the
Atlas mountain range, parts of the Libyan coastline, the Nile
delta and sub-Saharan Africa, except the eastern coastal fringe),
parts of Asia Minor (the western and southern coastal fringe),
the near-coastal fringe of the Middle East and in parts of Arabia
(mostly in near-coastal areas of southern Saudi Arabia and Yemen)
and in southern Asia, from south-eastern Iraq, Kuwait through
southern Iran into the south-eastern half of Pakstan, northern
India and western Bangladesh. They can also occasionally be
found in suitable habitats (oases, along temporarily running
streams) in the Sahara desert and in the Arabian desert.
Race "collybita" breeds
in Europe, as far to the East as Poland and Bulgaria. This race
mainly winters in the South of its breeding range around the
Mediterranean and in North Africa.
Race "abietinus" breeds in Scandinavia and northern Russia, and
spends the northern winters in an area spanning from south-eastern
Europe and north-eastern Africa eastwards to Iraq and western Iran.
Race "tristis" breeds in Siberia to the East of the Pechora River
and winters in the lower Himalayas, but is also sometimes found
in Europe in winter.
In Arabia, Common Chiffchaffs, race
are found as winter visitors or during their migration. They are
most regularly spotted on a wide (near-)coastal fringe all
around the peninsula, but also inland, in particular in Saudi
Arabia. In Oman they populate the northern coastal fringe and
much of the southern half of the country, including inland.
Common Chiffchaffs have a preference for open woodland with
some trees and some undergrowth, including shrubs for nesting.