Dartford Warbler

Dartford Warbler

Sylvia undata

Near Threatened

Known for its distinctive melodic call, the Dartford Warbler is a charismatic bird that makes its home in the heathlands of Western Europe. Its striking grey and red plumage combined with a resilient, non-migratory nature make this small bird a symbol of the enduring beauty of its native habitat.

Appearance and Identification

Males and females have similar plumage

Primary Color

Grey

Primary Color (juvenile)

Brown

Secondary Colors

Brown, White

Secondary Colors (female)

Secondary Colors (juvenile)

Black

Secondary Colors (seasonal)

Wing Color

Grey

Wing Color (juvenile)

Brown

Beak Type

Short

Beak Color

Black

Beak Color (juvenile)

Black

Leg Color

Brown

Leg Color (juvenile)

Dark Brown

Distinctive Markings

Reddish-brown underparts, grey blueish upperparts, reddish eye-ring

Distinctive Markings (juvenile)

Less pronounced than adults

Tail Description

Long and dark

Tail Description (juvenile)

Shorter than adults

Size Metrics

12cm to 13cm

Length

13cm to 18cm

Wingspan

7g to 11g

Weight

Photos

Click on an image below to see the full-size version

Vocalization and Sounds

Primary Calls

A rapid, scratchy warble

Call Description

A mixture of churrs, whistles and trills

Alarm Calls

A harsh, rasping 'churr'

Behavior and Social Structure

Daily Activities

Active during the day, especially at dawn and dusk

Social Habits

Territorial and often seen in pairs

Territorial Behavior

Defends territory with song and display flights

Migratory Patterns

Non-migrant with short movements

Interaction with Other Species

Generally solitary, but may form loose flocks in winter

Diet

Primary Diet

Insects, Spiders

Feeding Habits

Feeds on insects in gorse and heather

Feeding Times

Throughout the day

Prey Capture Method

Active hunting, often hovering to pick insects from plants

Diet Variations

May eat berries in winter

Special Dietary Needs (if any)

None known

Nesting

Nesting Location

Low in gorse or heather

Nest Construction

Dome of grass and moss, lined with feathers

Breeding Season

Mid March to August

Number of clutches (per breeding season)

Up to three, but mainly two

Egg Appearance

White, or sometimes pale green with small brown spots

Egg Size

Approximately 1.5cm x 2cm

Clutch Characteristics

3-6 eggs, mainly 4-5

Incubation Period

Around 12 days

Fledgling Period

Approximately 2 weeks

Parental Care

Both parents incubate eggs and feed chicks - female takes largest share of incubating

Distribution and Habitat

Geographic Range

Western Europe, especially UK and Spain

Habitat Description

Heathland with gorse and heather

Elevation Range

Sea level to 2000m

Migration Patterns

Non-migrant with short movements

Biome

Heathland

Climate zones

Temperate

Distribution Map

Please note, this range and distribution map is a high-level overview, and doesn't break down into specific regions and areas of the countries.

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