Belongs to: warblers

Compare with: lesser whitethroat

Common whitethroat Sylvia communis

Also known as: whitethroat

Birds of Conservation Concern Amber List


Best time to see: mid Apr to early Oct

Key facts

Characteristic white throat and hurried scratchy song

Habitat: any area with thick brambles, bushes or overgrown hedges

Widespread and common summer visitor from sub-Saharan Africa

Recognition

White throat, grey crown, prominent rusty wings; 13–15 cm

Often perch on bush tops to sing; short, dancing, vertical song flight followed by parachuting descent 

Feeds mainly on insects, also spiders, and berries in autumn

Lifecycle

Male often builds several 'trial' nests, before vigorous courtship display

Nest is a deep cup of grasses lined with hair and down, close to ground in cover

Usually 2 broods May to July; 4–5 pale buff eggs, speckled grey

  • Main photo

Photo © Alan Williams