Belongs to: warblers

Compare with: willow warbler

Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita


Best time to see: late Mar to mid Oct

Key facts

Named after its two-note call, is usually one of the first warblers to arrive in spring

Habitat: mainly open woodland

Widespread and common summer visitor, although some now stay for the winter

Recognition

Drab olive-brown above, buff below; 10–11cm

Very active; flits about foliage in continuous feeding on small insects, such as caterpillars, gnats and midges

Song is a characteristic repeated chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff 

Lifecycle

Nest is a dome of moss and grasses lined with feathers on the ground

1 or 2 broods April to May; usually 6–7 white eggs, speckled purple; nestlings fed only by female

Winters around the Mediterranean and south of the Sahara

  • Main photo

Photo © David Harrison