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Bird name:

Willow Warbler

Phylloscopus trochilus




Old World Warblers (Sylviidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Scrub vegetation areas, Fields, agricultural, Plantations, young conifer, Woodlands

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Polygamous

Egg Colour:

White with red-brown speckles.

Number of Eggs:

4 - 8

Incubation Days:

10 - 17

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Sphere nest made of lichens, leaves and moss.

Nest Location:

On the ground among vegetation or in vine tangle.




Willow Warbler: Small leaf warbler with green-brown upperparts and buff to yellow-white underparts that become less yellow as the summer progresses. The head has a brown eyestripe and a pale yellow eyebrow. The bill is brown and the legs and feet range in colour from dark brown to flesh-coloured. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has more yellow on the underparts.

Range and Habitat

Willow Warbler: Widespread in the UK and Ireland. Most arrive in April and begin to leave in August. Found in open woodlands, birch woods, plantations, abandoned industrial land and moorland edges. Breeds from northern Europe to Russia and Asia. Spends the winter in southern and central Africa.

Breeding and Nesting

Willow Warbler: Four to eight white eggs with red-brown speckles are laid in a domed nest on the ground hidden among vegetation. Female builds the nest from lichens, leaves and moss. Eggs are incubated for 10 to 17 days by the female. Chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13 to 16 days later.

Foraging and Feeding

Willow Warbler: Feeds primarily on invertebrates such as aphids, spiders, caterpillars, flies, midges and beetles. Feeds on berries towards the end of summer and into the fall.


Willow Warbler: Long melodious series, begins soft, rises in volume, and finally falls away. Call is a relatively simple "hoo-eet."

Similar Species

Willow Warbler: Chiffchaff is marginally smaller and tends to be elongated and sleeker. It is also likely to have darker legs. The Wood Warbler has longer wings, yellow in the underparts, and a more distinct eyebrow. 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.
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