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Conservation status: Red

The high, insect-like reeling song of the grasshopper warbler is the best clue to its presence. Even when you hear one it can be difficult to locate it due to the ventriloquial effect of its singing. If seen on migration it moves like a little mouse, creeping through the foliage. Dramatic population declines have made this a Red List species.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Locustella naevia

Family

Warblers and allies (Sylviidae)

Where to see them

Found scattered across the UK in summer, although less common in Scotland. Likes areas of scrub, thick grassland, the edges of reedbeds, new forestry plantations and gravel pits with plenty of scattered bushes.

When to see them

Birds arrive from mid-April and leave again in August and September. Best listened for between April and July when they perch and sing from songposts, mostly at dawn and dusk but often through the night.

What they eat

Insects

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-16,000 pairs--

Distribution

Key

Audio

Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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