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Bird name:

Lesser Whitethroat

Sylvia curruca




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Forest edge, Scrub vegetation areas, Hedgerows

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

White with grey or olive blotches.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 6

Incubation Days:

10 - 16

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Cup nest made with grass and twigs, lined with hair, roots, and fine grass.

Nest Location:

In a tree, bush or deciduous tree.




Lesser Whitethroat: Small, secretive warbler with grey-brown back and wings and off-white underparts which may have a pink wash in early spring. Head is grey with darker grey wing coverts, chin and throat are white. Tail is grey with white outer feathers. Bill is black; legs, tail are dark grey. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is more dull and may show a faint white eyebrow.

Range and Habitat

Lesser Whitethroat: Found in Wales, England and southern Scotland, very rarely in Ireland. Arrives from northeastern Africa in April or May. Found in hedgerows, shrubs, including blackthorn and hawthorn, abandoned industrial sites, and overgrown railway embankments. Also breeds in Europe and Asia.

Breeding and Nesting

Lesser Whitethroat: Four to six white eggs with grey or olive blotches are laid in a cup-shaped nest built in a tree or bush of grass and twigs and lined with hair, roots, fine grass. Both parents incubate eggs for 10 to 16 days. Chicks are fed by both parents for 10 to 14 days. May have 2 clutches.

Foraging and Feeding

Lesser Whitethroat: In the summer feeds primarily on invertebrates, such as flies, ants, beetles, and caterpillars. Nectar is also taken. In the fall feeds on berries such as elderberries and blackberries.


Lesser Whitethroat: Quiet, warbling song followed by a dry rattle or series of monotonous notes. Call is a sharp "tac, tac."

Similar Species

Lesser Whitethroat: The Whitethroat has a brown back and rufous in the wings.


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

The area of the face just below the bill.
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
Wing covertsX
The feathers that cover and protect the flight feathers.
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