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Whitethroat

The Whitethroat (Sylvia communis), is a common and widespread typical warbler which breeds throughout Europe and across much of temperate western Asia. This small passerine bird is strongly migratory, and winters in tropical Africa, Arabia and India. This is a bird of open country and cultivation, with bushes for nesting.

This is one of several Sylvia species that has distinct male and female plumages. Both sexes are mainly brown above and beige below, with chestnut fringes to the secondary flight feathers. The adult male has a gray head and a white throat. The female lacks the gray head, and the throat is duller. The Whitethroat’s song is fast and scratchy, with a scolding tone.

This species was believed by some to be closely related to the Lesser Whitethroat, the species having evolved only during the end of the last ice age similar to the Willow Warbler and Chiffchaffs. But researchers soon learned that this is not correct, and now it is known that white throats are unreliable morphological markers for relationships in Sylvia.

The nest is built in low shrub or brambles, and 3-7 eggs are laid. Like most “warblers”, it is insectivorous, but will also take berries and other soft fruit.

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Whitethroat


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