Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)


During the breeding season both adults and young will feed on a wide range of insects especially caterpillars and beetles. Towards the end of summer and early autumn, Whitethroats tend to consume more berries and soft fruit as they prepare to migrate for the winter.


A medium sized Warbler with a long tail, the Whitethroat has a slim appearance. The males, females and juveniles have chestnut brown wings, pale brown legs and a brown bill with a dark tip but the females and juveniles are duller in appearance. The male has a grey cap which continues past its brown eyes and a pale pink breast with the rest of the under parts being white as its name suggests. Females and juveniles also have white under parts however this is again duller in comparison to the male.


Whitethroats prefer open habitats with lots of thickets and shrubs. When breeding starts in early May the male will construct a series of cup shaped nests made of grass and roots for the female to choose from. For protection from predators the nests are wedged amongst low shrubs such as holly or hawthorns. Once the female has found a nest she is impressed with she will line the nest with hair, wool and down. Both parents take part in the 11-13 days of incubation required by 3-7 olive/green speckled eggs which are normally laid. The male and female will also share the responsibility of feeding their young. Whitethroats will produce 1-2 clutches of eggs using the same nest.

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