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Bird name:


Sylvia communis




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Scrub vegetation areas, Hedgerows, Plantations, young conifer, Bramble or gorse

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Polygamous

Egg Colour:

Light green or blue with olive-grey speckles.

Number of Eggs:

1 - 7

Incubation Days:

9 - 14

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Material:

Roots and grass

Nest Location:

Low in a shrub or brambles.




Whitethroat: Medium-sized warbler with grey head, white throat, and brown upperparts; wing feathers have red-brown edges giving them a chestnut appearance. Underparts are buff, may have a pink wash, belly is white. Long brown tail has white outer feathers. Grey-brown bill, pale brown legs and feet. Female is more dull and has a brown head. Juvenile is similar to the female but shows orange-brown wings.

Range and Habitat

Whitethroat: Widespread in the UK and Ireland, more common in the south and east of England, scarce in Ireland. Found in many habitats, such as forest glades and edges, young plantations, thick hedges and scrub, brambles and gorse. Not found in mountainous and urban areas. Winters in North Africa.

Breeding and Nesting

Whitethroat: One to seven light green or blue eggs with olive-grey speckles are laid in a cup-shaped nest low in a bush. Nest is built with roots and grass. Both parents incubate the eggs for 9 to 14 days. Chicks fledge 12 to 14 days later; are dependent on their parents for another 15 to 20 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Whitethroat: In the summer feeds primarily on invertebrates such as caterpillars, beetles, aphids and flies. In late summer also eats berries and fruit.


Whitethroat: Somewhat raspy warble that varies but commonly begins as "che-che-worra-che-wi." Call is a soft but insistent "tcharr," a low "churr," or a sharp "tac-tack."

Similar Species

Whitethroat: The Lesser Whitethroat is smaller, slimmer, and shorter-tailed. Back is more grey-brown and lacks the rufous in the wings.


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

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.
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