© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.


Sylvia atricapilla

  • Family: Warblers – Sylviidae
  • Appearance: A fairly large and attractive warbler. Male greenish grey with a distinctive black cap. Female brownish grey with a reddish brown cap.
  • Size: Length 13.5–15 cm, weight 15–24 g.
  • Nest: In a small shrub or herbaceous plant at a height of 0.1–1.75 m. More solidly built than nest of Garden Warbler. Made of dry plant stalks, lined with hair, roots and fine grass, bound with spider’s web strands.
  • Breeding: 3–6 eggs laid in May, incubated by both parents for 10–11 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 9–11 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in herb-rich deciduous and mixed forests in Southern and Central Finland, only sparsely further north where range extends as far north as Kainuu. Finnish breeding population estimated at 30,000–50,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Nocturnal. “Leaves Finland August–October, returning May–June. Winters in East Africa and around the Mediterranean. Some birds occasionally overwinter in Finland. * Diet: Invertebrates, berries.
  • Calls: A harsh “chek”. Melodious song similar to song of Garden Warbler, but more flute-like, especially in later stages.

Male Blackcaps are mainly greyish in colouring with distinctive black caps. Females are more brownish grey with a reddish brown cap. Juveniles resemble females, though juvenile males begin to grow black feathers on their black caps in early autumn during a partial moult. Blackcaps have dark bluish grey legs, black or dark brown beaks, and brown irises.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

Follow us!

Identify species!

Sivun alkuun / Top of the page