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Sardinian Warbler

The Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), is a common and widespread typical warbler from the Mediterranean region. It breeds in the southernmost areas of Europe and just into Asia in Turkey and the eastern end of the Mediterranean. This small passerine bird, unlike most warblers, is not particularly migratory, but some birds winter in north Africa, and it occurs as a vagrant well away from the breeding range, as far as Great Britain.

Like most Sylvia species, it has distinct male and female plumages. The adult male has a gray back, whitish underparts, black head, white throat and red eyes. Plumages are somewhat variable even in the same locality, with the intensity of a reddish hue on upper and/or underside varying from absent to well-pronounced. The female is mainly brown above and buff below, with a gray head.

The Sardinian Warbler’s song is fast and rattling, and is very characteristic of the Mediterranean areas where this bird breeds. This is a bird of open country and cultivation, with bushes for nesting. The nest is built in low shrub or brambles, and 3-6 eggs are laid. Like most warblers, it is insectivorous, but will also take berries and other soft fruit.

This bird may be considered a superspecies, divided into the western Sylvia melanocephala and Sylvia momus from the more arid regions of the Near East and adjacent Africa.

Sardinian Warbler


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