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Bird name:


Phylloscopus collybita




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Forests, Thickets, Copses

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Solitary nester

Egg Colour:

White with black or purple markings.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Domed nest made of stems and leaves; lined with feathers.

Nest Location:

Close to or on the ground in grass or bushes.


Most migrate


Chiffchaff: Small leaf warbler with brown-green upperparts, off-white underparts, and dull yellow flanks. Face has a brown eyeline and an off-white eyebrow. Bill, legs and feet are dark grey. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is more brown above and a bit more yellow below.

Range and Habitat

Chiffchaff: Occurs mostly in the summer, widespread in Britain and Ireland, less common in northern Scotland and upland areas. Found mainly in deciduous forests, thickets, and copses where there is thick undergrowth. Most British birds winter in the Mediterranean or West Africa. Breeds from Sweden to Spain and east to Bulgaria.

Breeding and Nesting

Chiffchaff: Four to six white eggs with black or purple markings are laid in a domed nest built close to or on the ground among grass or bushes. Eggs are incubated by the female for 12 to 14 days, chicks fledge after 12 to 15 days. They are dependent on their parents for another 10 to 18 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Chiffchaff: Feeds on insects such as moths, caterpillars, aphids and flies. Forages in bushes and tree canopies, often searching the undersides of leaves for prey. Also hovers to pick an insect from beneath a leaf and catches some insects in the air.

Readily Eats

Fruit, Peanuts


Chiffchaff: Song is a repeated "zilp zalp," call is a whistled, rising "huiit."

Similar Species

Chiffchaff: Willow Warblers are slightly larger with longer wings, and the Chiffchaff tends to be more grey-brown, elongated and sleeker, with a less rounded crown. Call is the best way to tell them apart.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX