Whitethroat

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birds of Britain and Europe ID Guide | Warblers | Whitethroat Sylvia communis | Identification of Whitethroat | Confusing warblers |  Whitethroat

Whitethroat Quick IDWhitethroat Quick ID

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Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
Length approx 14cm. Immediately seperated from Lesser Whitethroat by its pale legs (Lesser whitethroat has dark legs) white eye-ring, longer tail and brownish red colour to the secondary feathers (clearly seen in the photograph above).In spring male Whitethroat's can often show a pinkish tinge to the breast which contrasts beautifully with its white throat.Common over much of continental and oceanic western palearctic avoiding high altitudes, dense wooded areas or heavily vegetated wetlands.(BWP volume VI Warblers).Often prefers scrub and open areas in a sunny location on woodland edges or near hedgerows.Fond of bramble and nettle thicket for breeding.Birds are migratory and winter in sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south to South Africa (BWP).Food mainly insects, but will eat fruit in late summer.
Typical view of whitethroat
Whitethroat populations, which had been stable up to 1968 and departed as normal that autumn, crashed by around 70% between the 1968 and 1969 breeding seasons. They fluctuated around their lower level until the mid 1980s, since when a shallow recovery has occurred. Recovery has been most apparent along linear waterways. In a pioneering study, Winstanley et al. (1974) linked the 1969 crash to droughts in the Whitethroat's wintering grounds in the western Sahel. Annual fluctuations in abundance (not shown in the smoothed trend) correlate to those in overwinter survival (Baillie & Peach 1992). Other trans-Saharan migrant warblers have shared similarly timed population changes (Siriwardena et al. 1998b). Productivity, as measured by CES, shows a moderate decline during the period of population recovery, which may be associated with a minor reduction in average brood size.

For a more in depth look at the population trends in the UK ,click here
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The Birder's Market | Resource | Birds of Britain and Europe ID Guide | Warblers | Whitethroat Sylvia communis | Identification of Whitethroat | Confusing warblers |  Whitethroat

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