Common grasshopper warbler

Common grasshopper warbler
Locustella naevia

Photo by Andreas Gruber (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
common grasshopper warbler (en); felosa-malhada (pt); locustelle tachetée (fr); buscarla pintoja (es); feldschwirl (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

This species is found breed across most of Europe, from the northern Iberian peninsula as far north as southern Sweden and Norway and as far east as central Asia, through Russia into the Caucasus, Kazakhstan and north-western Mongolia. They migrate south winter in Africa along the Sahel belt and also in India.

These birds are 12-14 cm long and have a wingspan of 19-20 cm. They weigh 11-20 g.

The common grasshopper warbler is found in grasslands and scrublands, in aquatic vegetation bordering freshwater lakes and marshes, and also in pastures and arable land.

They mainly feed on adult and larval insects, such as beetles, flies and butterflies, spiders, and also some molluscs.

These birds breed in May-July. The cup-shaped nest is made of stalks, leaves and grasses and placed on the ground, among dense vegetation. There the female lays 4-6 white eggs with purple speckles, which are incubated by both parents for 13-15 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10-12 days after hatching. Each pair can raise 1-2 broods per year and the young achieve sexual maturity after 1 year.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 3,4-13,2 million individuals. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, but in several European countries the trend since the 1980s has been stable.

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