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Bird name:

Dartford Warbler

Sylvia undata




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Scrub vegetation areas, Heathland, Bramble or gorse

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Smooth, glossy and pale green, white or grey with reddish-brown specks or spots.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Cup made of grass, moss, spiders' egg sac, and wool; lined with fine roots, hair and down.

Nest Location:

In a low shrub, usually gorse bushes, or bramble.


Most do not migrate


Dartford Warbler: Small warbler with long, slender, dark grey tail often held cocked up. Upperparts dark grey, underparts dark, red-brown with white dotting on throat, and white on the belly. Red eye ring and red iris. Short, slender bill has yellow brown base. Short, dark wings with pale edging. Brown-yellow legs. Female is like male but duller, has more white on the throat, and has brown highlights on the upperparts. Immature like adults but has a brown eye, pale brown eye ring, more brown on the back, and is dark grey below.

Range and Habitat

Dartford Warbler: Resident breeder found primarily in the southern lowlands of England. Can be seen year round. Habitats include heath and gorse scrub areas. Easiest to see as it flies between bushes while foraging for insects.

Breeding and Nesting

Dartford Warbler: Breeds in heathlands, often near the coast. Nest is a compact cup situated in dense bushes, often gorse or evergreen shrubs. Nest is built of grasses, cobwebs, plant down, and sometimes feathers, then lined with fine rootlets and hair. Two broods are common; occasionally three.

Foraging and Feeding

Dartford Warbler: One of the small number of almost wholly insectivorous resident passerines in Britain. Eats mostly beetles, spiders, lepidopteran larvae and bugs; also occasional arthropods, berries. Gorse habitat extremely important for food.


Dartford Warbler: Short and sometimes scratchy warble that combines both muffled whistles as well as more raspy chatter. Call is a harsh "tchir-rr" or "tak."

Similar Species

None in range.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
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