Medium-sized warbler with prominent pale “spectacles.” Extent of gray crown coloration is geographically variable; Himalayan birds average the darkest and Chinese birds the palest. Himalayan and Vietnamese birds’ dark gray crowns may recall Gray-cheeked Warbler, but both forms of White-spectacled Warbler have a much more contrasting crown pattern and bright yellow throats. White-spectacled’s eye-ring is broken at the top instead of at the back as it is in Golden-spectacled and Gray-crowned Warblers. Forages at lower levels of the forest, often making sallies after mobile prey. Breeds at medium altitudes in broadleaf hill and montane forest, with Chinese and Himalayan birds moving to lower altitudes in the non-breeding season. Song is distinctly broken and hesitant, slowly picking up as it progresses and ending with a variable trill; contains more trilling than Gray-cheeked Warbler’s song. Lower in pitch and more faltering, less accelerating, than the songs of Gray-crowned and Martens’s Warblers. Presence of any trilling components at all distinguishes this species from Bianchi’s Warbler.
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