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Bird name:

Marsh Warbler

Acrocephalus palustris




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Scrub vegetation areas, Meadows, damp

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Polygamous

Egg Colour:

Smooth, glossy and pale blue, green or grey with irregular olive to reddish-brown spots.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Cup made of dry grass, lined with roots and plant down.

Nest Location:

Suspended between several vertical stems or small branches.




Marsh Warbler: Small, Robin-sized warbler. Dull, olive-brown upperparts with black edging to feathers in wings. Thin, black line through eye and broken, pale brown eye ring and lores. White throat, rest underparts pale buff. Legs yellow-pink. Bill yellow-orange below,and dark grey above. Sexes similar. Immature birds in autumn like summer adults but more red-brown above and on rump, and darker buff below.

Range and Habitat

Marsh Warbler: Former resident breeder, now rare summer breeder in England. Grounds are likely restricted to south-eastern England near Kent. Arrives at breeding grounds in late spring or early summer. Winters in east Africa. Prefers scrub areas of dense vegetation with tall bushes.

Breeding and Nesting

Marsh Warbler: Breeding is late: usually between late May and mid-June. Cup-shaped nest is hidden close to the ground in thick vegetation, often near water. Female builds nest; eggs are laid by early July. Both sexes incubate eggs and care for young. One brood per season fledges in 10 or 11 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Marsh Warbler: Picking through tall rank vegetation in marshes or by rivers, it feeds on small insects, spiders and snails. In the autumn months it will occasionally eat berries.


Marsh Warbler: Burbling combination of variously pitched trills and flute-like sounds. Call is quite variable and may include sounds such as "chirr," "tchak," "tue," "tweek," and "wheet-wheet-wheet."

Similar Species

Marsh Warbler: Reed Warbler has a warm brown tone, rather than olive-brown, and is darker overall.


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