Bird Families

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The habitat of the willow warbler

Nesting sites of this bird are located practically throughout Europe.

Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus).

In Asia, the willow warbler is distributed in the northern part, up to the Anadyr River, with the exception of the southern part of Yakutia and the Far East. For wintering flies to the southern part of the African continent.

Willow warbler lifestyle and nutrition

The willow warbler lives mainly in forests, although it is often found in copses and groves. Sometimes it can be found even in parks and squares. River valleys with young birch and alder stands are one of the most popular places for willows.

Trills of willow warblers are very sonorous.

One of the main advantages of this bird is its beautiful euphonious singing. Males possess an arsenal of 7 to 20 different types of songs. These songs have a strict structure and sequence of sounds. They are formed at the earliest age of this bird and subsequently reproduced by it with great accuracy. Various variations and combinations of these songs merge into beautiful trills.

Listen to the voice of the willow warbler

The diet of this bird includes insects and larvae, snails, spiders. The willow warbler also feeds on plant foods such as fruits and berries.

The warbler caught the insects.

Reproduction of the willow

In central Russia, the willow warbler appears in early to mid-April. The males are the first to arrive at the nesting sites. They guard their sites so carefully that at first, upon arrival, they do not allow not only other males, but even females to enter them. After arrival, pairs are formed quite quickly. Almost immediately after the formation of a pair, the female begins to search for the best place for the nest. As soon as the place is found, the female proceeds to the construction. However, if the weather is not good enough, then this process can be very delayed. Males sing very intensively in the period after arrival until the beginning of the construction of the nest. When the female begins to build the nest, the singing intensity drops dramatically. This is due to the fact that during construction, the male is busy protecting the female. Most of the time he follows the female, singing a low song.

Willow warbler nest and egg clutch.

The nest is usually located on the surface of the ground. From above, it is masked by dry grass and foliage. The nest is in the shape of a ball with a side entry. The material for its construction is moss, dry blades of grass, needles and roots. The litter at the bottom of the nest consists of small stems and feathers.

The female begins to lay eggs from the beginning of May. One clutch contains from 4 to 8 eggs. These eggs are white with brown spots. In Europe, birds make 2 clutches in one season. In Russia, in most habitats, willow warblers make only one clutch of eggs per season. Only in the southern regions of our country do birds make 2 clutches. The eggs are incubated exclusively by the female. The incubation period lasts up to 2 weeks. Parents feed the emerging chicks with medium-sized food, such as aphids, spiders, mosquitoes and small caterpillars. In 2 weeks after birth, the chicks already fly out of the nest. After departure, the parents continue to feed the offspring for a week. Sexual maturity in these birds occurs at the age of about a year.

Willow warblers live for about 12 years.

The European population of Willow Warblers is estimated to be up to 40 million pairs. The life span of some individuals reaches 12 years.

Willow warbler subspecies

There are three subspecies of willow warblers.

Subspecies differ in the size of individuals and their color. There are three main subspecies of the willow warbler:

  • Ph. t. yakutensis Ticehurst - lives on the territory from the Anadyr River to the Yenisei River,
  • P. t. acredula Linnaeus - found from the Yenisei to the west to the southern part of the Carpathians and Fennoscandia,
  • Ph. t. trochilus Linnaeus - inhabits the territory from Poland, southern Sweden and the Carpathians to the western border of the range. South to Italy, Yugoslavia, central France and northern Romania. Separate colonies of this subspecies are found in Sicily, the Pyrenees and the Apennine Peninsula.