Visual Search | Wizard | Browse
Bird name:

Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus scirpaceus




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

iBird Ad

Breeding Location:

Scrub vegetation areas, Bushes and shrubs, Reedbeds

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth, glossy and white or pale green with olive-brown specks, spots and blotches.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Deep cup made of plant material, flowering reeds and spider webs; lined with hair, wool and feathers.

Nest Location:

Basket nest in reeds.




Reed Warbler: Small, Robin-sized bird. Plain olive-brown upperparts with red-brown on rump, and buff-white underparts. Dark grey wings edged with olive-brown. Broken, buff eye ring and lores. Black line through eye. Bill dark grey above, orange-yellow below. Green-grey legs and feet. Sexes similar. Juveniles like adults but a bit more grey-brown on upperparts and paler buff to white on underparts.

Range and Habitat

Reed Warbler: Summer breeder in the UK & Ireland. Most commonly found in lowland areas in England and Wales, rarer elsewhere. Birds arrive in mid-spring and depart for tropical African winter grounds in autumn. Habitat is primarily reedbed wetlands, though they may also be found in scrub areas.

Breeding and Nesting

Reed Warbler: Monogamous. Nests mostly in reedbeds, also in bushes near water. Female builds nest basket. Both parents incubate the 3 to 5 speckled eggs and care for young, which fledge in 10 to 13 days. One to two clutches per breeding season. Commonly brood parasitized by the Cuckoo.

Foraging and Feeding

Reed Warbler: Is an insectivore that forages mainly at the middle height range in reed beds for spiders, insects and small snails. It will also eat berries in the autumn.


Reed Warbler: Combination of rasping and "purring - kerr-kerr-kerr - kek-kek - churuc-churuc-churuc - tuk-tuk." Call is a soft "churr" or a harsh "tcharr."

Similar Species

Reed Warbler: Marsh Warbler is more olive-brown, lacks the warm red-brown tones of the Reed Warbler, and tends to be paler overall with sandy or buff tones on the sides of the head and neck.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX