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Conservation status: Amber

A small robin-like bird, the male is unmistakable in spring with his bright blue throat, bordered below with bands of black, white and chestnut. Its central throat spot can be white or chestnut, depending on which subspecies you are looking at -'white-spotted' or the more numerous 'red-spotted'. They can be quite secretive, flicking into the cover of a bush with a flash of their chestnut tail patches.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Luscinia svecica

Family

Chats and thrushes (Turdidae)

Where to see them

Best looked for along the east coast in spring and autumn in scrub and grassy areas. Usually seen hopping along the ground or ducking into low cover.

When to see them

Usually seen on passage in May and early June (the 'white-spotted' bluethroat passes through slightly earlier in spring - in late March and April), and again in August to October.

What they eat

Insects, caterpillars and berries.

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-0-1 pairs-85-600

Distribution

Key

In the UK
From N Scotland down E and S coasts of England
In Europe
N, Central and S Europe, few in West
Worldwide
Europe, Asia, Africa and Alaska

Audio

Krystian Zwolinski, Xeno-canto