Thursday, 7 February 2013

Birds in Focus - Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff

Willow Warbler
Willow Warblers are small birds with grey-green backs and pale under parts. They have a yellow tinged chest and throat and pale supercillium (the stripe above the eye). They are separated from the very similar chiffchaff by their song. Their population, especially in southern Britain, has undergone a moderate decline over the past 25 years making them an Amber List species.

Willow warblers are widespread and can be seen in suitable habitat across most of the UK. They can be readily seen from April to September and they eat a wide variety of small insects and spiders. Fruit and berries in autumn.

Chiffchaff
The Chiffchaff is a small olive-brown warbler which actively flits through trees and shrubs, with a distinctive tail-wagging movement. It is less bright than the very similar Willow Warbler and is readily distinguished by its song, from where it gets its name. Chiffchaff pick insects from trees and also fly out to snap them up in flight.

The favour lowland woodlands, parks and large gardens and can be seen all year round, but most arrive in late March and depart in August and September. They eat insects.

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