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Common Reed Warbler - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Photo © by volker sthamer
Offstein, Germany, 20 June 2020

Includes Eurasian Reed Warbler, African Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus scirpaceus


Subspecies baeticatus, African Reed Warbler
Photo © by CollinBax
Cape Town, South Africa, February 2011

12.5cm (5 in)
Brown with a rusty tinge. Paler underparts with a whitish throat. Thin brownish bill. Legs dark brown.
Juvenile is very similar to the adult but rather brighter with tawny-orange tints to upperparts. Legs flesh-coloured.

Similar Species

Photo © by Xmor
Llyn Coed Y Dinas, Welshpool, Wales, July 2015

Marsh Warbler, Blyth's Reed Warbler


Europe,western Asia, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa.


The first four subspecies used to be in Eurasian Reed Warbler while the last six subspecies were considered another full species, African Reed Warbler.


Subspecies fuscus, Caspian Reed Warbler
Photo © by ammadoux
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, September 2018

Four subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • A. s. scirpaceus:
  • Breeds in Europe (except the Iberian Peninsula) east to western Turkey and western Russia; winters in subSaharan Africa (Senegal east to Sudan, south at least to Gabon and the northern edge of the Congo Basin)
  • A. s. fuscus:
  • A. s. avicenniae:
  • A. s. ammon:
  • Libyan Desert depressions on the Libya/Egypt border (oases of Qattara, Siwa, Sitra, and Al Jaghbub)
  • A. s. ambiguus:
  • A. s. guiersi:
  • A. s. cinnamomeus:
  • A. s. hallae:
  • A. s. suahelicus:
  • A. s. baeticatus:


Reedbeds and some bushes.



The diet includes mainly insects, though some berries are taken.


Photo © by Qingcol
Amble, Cornwall, June 2008

A monogamous species.
They build a basket-like nest in reeds. The clutch consists of 3-5 eggs, which are pale greenish-white with dark specks or splotches. The young fledge after 10 or 11 days.

It is brood parasitised by the Common Cuckoo.


Subspecies avicenniae
Photo © by ammadoux
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, July 2012

Thread with links to both Reed Warbler and Sedge Warbler songs for comparison


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  5. Birdforum thread discussing Moroccan Reed Warblers
  6. The Observers Book of Birds' Eggs
  7. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

Reed Warbler Identification Thread

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1