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Willow Warbler

From Opus

P. t. trochilus adult Photo by mali Lakenheath Warren, England
P. t. trochilus adult
Photo by mali
Lakenheath Warren, England
Phylloscopus trochilus


[edit] Identification

Length 11-12.5cm (4¼-5 in), weight 6.3-14.6 g

  • Greenish-yellowish-brown back,
  • Pale underparts, tinged yellow on throat and breast
  • Pale yellowish-white supercillium
  • Thin brown bill
  • Brownish-yellow or light brown legs
P. t. trochilus juvenile; a particularly bright individual Photo by ChrisKtenLondon, August 2013
P. t. trochilus juvenile; a particularly bright individual
Photo by ChrisKten
London, August 2013

Juvenile and 1st Winter:

  • Much yellower supercillium and underparts

[edit] Similar Species

See this discussion thread for differences between Common Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.

[edit] Distribution

Widespread and abundant in the northern half of Europe and western Asia, scarcer towards northeastern Asia.

Breeds throughout the British Isles, Scandinavia and northern Russia south to central and south-east France, Switzerland and Austria, northern parts of Hungary and Romania, and east between about 50°N and 68°N across Russia.

Chiffchaff on the left and Willow Warbler on the right Photo by Steve GClick on image to enlarge
Chiffchaff on the left and Willow Warbler on the right
Photo by Steve G
Click on image to enlarge

Arrives on the breeding areas mainly in April (late March in the south, May or even June in the far northeast), returning south in August-September, passage continuing until October, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. Abundant on passage over most of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Birds from the far east of Siberia migrate over 15,000 km to winter in South Africa; in proportion to its size (125 million body lengths!), the longest migration of any bird.

Vagrants recorded on Iceland, the Azores and Cape Verde Islands, and in Alaska.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Subspecies yakutensisPhoto by Houman Doroudi (Tormtay)Darabad Mountain, Tehran, Iran, April 2016
Subspecies yakutensis
Photo by Houman Doroudi (Tormtay)
Darabad Mountain, Tehran, Iran, April 2016

There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • P. t. trochilus: the most greeny-yellow subspecies; descrived above
  • P. t. acredula: similar to nominate but duller and paler below with less yellow on underparts of juvenile.
  • P. t. yakutensis: drabber still, light grey-brown above and whitish below
  • Eastern Siberia (Taymyr Peninsula to Anadyr River); winters to southern Africa. Occurs as a migrant across central Asia and southeast Europe, and rarely as far west as Britain, but P. t. acredula can appear very similar.

[edit] Habitat

Photo by John W ClarksonBois Vert garden, Lot et Garonne, France, May 2015
Photo by John W Clarkson
Bois Vert garden, Lot et Garonne, France, May 2015

Open deciduous woodland, bushy areas, parks and gardens. Also in mixed forest and young conifer plantations, hedgerows and shelterbelts. On passage occurs in all types of habitat with trees and bushes.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

The diet includes small insects and spiders and fruit and berries.

[edit] Breeding

The domed nest has a side entrance and is formed from grass, rotten wood, moss and roots, lined with feathers. It is placed on the ground amongst shrubs or long grass. The clutch consists of 3-9 smooth, glossy white eggs, speckled reddish-brown. The female incubates for around 13 days. Both adults feed the young, which fledge after about 13-16 days.

[edit] Vocalisation

Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  4. British Garden Birds

[edit] External Links


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