© Copyright: Images: Mervi Wahlroos, M., W. & F. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland), Pohjolan linnut värikuvin. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Lesser Whitethroat

Sylvia curruca

  • Family: Warblers – Sylvidae
  • Appearance: A small warbler with a pale brownish grey back, a grey cap, dark grey cheeks and a white throat. Legs dark, almost black.
  • Size: Length 11.5–13.5 cm, weight 11–16 g. One of the smallest warblers breeding in Finland.
  • Nest: Almost always in a juniper or spruce, most typically about a metre above the ground (0.2–9 m possible). Very thinly-walled, made of twigs bound with spiders’ webs, lined with hair and root fibres.
  • Breeding: 3–7 eggs laid in May, incubated by both parents for 12–15 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 9–12 days.
  • Occurrence: Breeds in sparsely wooded scrubland throughout Southern and Central Finland and as far north as southernmost Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 200,000–300,000 pairs.
  • Migration: By night. Leaves Finland August–September, returning May–June after wintering in tropical East Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates, berries.
  • Calls: A sharp “chek”. Song a short series of clattering noises (said to sound like a paper bag full of dried peas being shaken).

Lesser Whitethroats are among the smallest warblers breeding in Finland. Their distinguishing features include a grey cap, dark colouring extending behind the eyes, and a white throat. They have brownish grey backs and pale underparts. Males and females have the same colouring. They resemble Whitethroats, but have shorter tails, greyer upper parts, whiter underparts, and no reddish brown colouring on their wings. Their legs are dark bluish grey, their beaks are black (with a paler base to the lower mandible) and their irises are brownish grey.

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

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