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Bird name:


Sylvia atricapilla




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Forests, Parks and gardens, Thickets

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Light buff with dark markings.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Leaves, moss, twigs and grass.

Nest Location:

Hedge or bush


Most migrate


Blackcap: Large warbler, slightly smaller than a House Sparrow. Upperparts are grey-brown, underparts are light grey, has a distinctive black forehead and crown that extends to the eye. Bill, legs and feet are grey. Sexes are similar except the female has a red-brown cap. Juvenile is similar to the male, male may show a darker brown cap and female a yellow-brown cap.

Range and Habitat

Blackcap: Common in the UK, Ireland. Some are resident, mainly in the west and south of Britain. Most are summer visitors who return to Portugal, Spain or West Africa. About 3000 birds from central Europe winter in southern England. Found in deciduous and mixed forests, thickets, parks and gardens.

Breeding and Nesting

Blackcap: Four to five light buff eggs with darker markings are laid in a cup-shaped nest placed in a hedge or bush. Male begins to build several nests, female chooses one and finishes it. Eggs are incubated for 12 to 14 days by both parents. Chicks fledge 10 to 13 days after hatching.

Foraging and Feeding

Blackcap: In the summer it forages among shrubs and trees for invertebrates such as flies, beetles, caterpillars and spiders. In the fall and winter it feeds on fruit and berries such as mistletoe, holly, sea buckthorn and honeysuckle.

Readily Eats

Bread Products, Apple Slices, Suet, Peanuts


Blackcap: Song is a melodic and flute-like warble, call is a repeated "teck."

Similar Species

Blackcap: Could be confused with the Garden Warbler only when its cap is not visible.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
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