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Iberian chiffchaff

Phylloscopus ibericus
Photo by Patrick Bergier (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
Iberian chiffchaff (en); felosa-ibérica (pt); pouillot ibérique (fr); mosquitero ibérico (es); Iberienzilpzalp (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sylviidae

This species is mostly found breeding in Portugal and Spain, but also in southern France and in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. They winter in western Africa, from Senegal to Ghana and Burkina Faso.

These birds are 10-11 cm long and have a wingspan of 18-19 cm. They weigh 7-8,5 g.

Iberian chiffchaffs use mature, mostly deciduous, woodlands, preferring not too dense canopies and fairly dense, medium to tall, undergrowth. They can also be found in dry scrublands.

They are insectivorous, eating a wide range of small insects that are picked from foliage in the tree canopy or in dense thickets.

The Iberian chiffchaff breeds in February-September. The female builds the nest, a domed structure made of coarse plant material such as dead leaves and grass, and lined with finer materials and feathers. The nest is placed near the ground in dense vegetation. The female lays 4-7 cream-coloured eggs with brown spots, which she incubates alone for 13-15 days. The chicks are mostly fed by the female, with occasional help by the male, and fledge 14-15 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a large breeding range and a global population estimated at 1,1-1,6 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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