Barred warbler

Barred warbler
Sylvia nisoria
Photo by Mateusz Matysiak (Mateusz Matysiak Fotografia)

Common name:
barred warbler (en); toutinegra-gavião (pt); fauvette épervière (fr); curruca gavilana (es)sperbergrasmücke (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

This species is found breeding in eastern Europe and central Asia, from eastern Germany and Poland, north to southern Finland and south to the Baltic coast, Greece and Turkey. Then the species is distributed across central Asia all the way to south-eastern Mongolia and western China. They migrate to winter in eastern Africa, from Chad and Sudan south to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

This large warbler is 15,5-17 cm long and has a wingspan of 26-29 cm. They weigh 20-30 g.

The barred warbler is mostly found in temperate forests, both broad-leaved and mixed, especially near forest clearings. They are also found in scrublands, pastures, plantations and parks. During winter these birds occur in tropical dry forests and dry savannas.

They mostly feed on adult and larval insects, spiders and sometimes snails. In late summer and autumn they will also eat berries.

Barred warblers breed in May-July. Some males are monogamous and help incubate the eggs and raise the chicks, while other have several mates and have no further part in the breeding process after mating with each female. The nest is a dense cup made of grass stems, stalks, twigs, rootlets and spider cocoons, and lined with hairs and fine plant materials. It is well hidden in the foliage of a small tree or scrub, not far from the ground. The female lays 3-6 eggs, which are incubated for 12-13 days. The chicks fledge 11-12 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 2-6 million individuals. The population seems to go through marked annual fluctuations, at least within its European range, but it is not threatened at present.

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