Whitethroat Sylvia communis   [Latham, 1787]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Sylviidae
BTO Codes: WH, WHITE EURING No: 12750
Number in Britain: 1.1 million Territories (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: AMBER
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: communis recorded in Britain (of 4 subsp. in the world)
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Length: 14 cm Wingspan: 20 cm Weight: M/F: 16 g    
Scientific name from: L.: silva=a wood and L.: communis=common
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, c Asia & Near East, WINTERS: tropical & s Africa
Habitat: Scrub
Diet: Mainly insects, esp. beetles and bugs (Hemiptera), fruit in autumn
TitBit: A drought in the western Sahel region of Africa in 1968 caused a 90% drop in the number of Whitethroats breeding in Britain; a crash from which numbers have still not fully recovered.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
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Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Scotland   Wales   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 1.1 million Territories in 2009
    First Record: 1544
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1969-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern: communis AMBER (Recent Decline)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Common in: Scrub, Arable Farmland, Reedbed
    Also found in: Coastal Habitat, Villages
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries
Average Day of First Arrival: 15 Apr
European Population Size:
    Summer: 9 to 17 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III), Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 18 x 14 mm Egg Weight: 1.8 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 108   (more would be welcome!)
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs 4.64 ± 0.70 (2 - 7) N = 1021
Incubation: 12- 13 days 12.10 ± 1.57 (9 - 15.5) N = 1020   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 12 - 14days 12.73 ± 1.50 (10 - 15) N = 2169 as: Altricial, naked
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 22 May (5 May - 6 Jul)
Number of Broods: 1-2
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.391 ± 0.025       
Juvenile Survival: 0.289 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 6 years 11 months 30 days (set in 2009)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: A
Wing Length Adult: 70.8 ± 1.9 Range 68 - 74 mm, N =11983
Juvenile: 70.9 ± 1.8 68 - 74 mm, N =13133
Male: 71.4 ± 1.9 68 - 74 mm, N =4594
Female: 70.1 ± 1.8 67 - 73 mm, N =3933
Weight Adult: 13.76 ± 1.34 Range 12.00 - 16.40 g , N =10699
Juvenile: 14.57 ± 2.00 12.60 - 17.60 g , N =11566
Male: 13.34 ± 1.07 12.00 - 15.20 g , N =3998
Female: 14.23 ± 1.43 12.20 - 16.80 g , N =3428
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Common Whitethroat
Gaelic: Gealan-coille Welsh: Llwydfron
Danish: Tornsanger Dutch: Grasmus
Finnish: Pensaskerttu French: Fauvette grisette
German: Dorngrasmücke Hungarian: Mezei poszáta
Icelandic: Þyrnisöngvari Irish: Gilphíb
Italian: Sterpazzola Norwegian: Tornsanger
Polish: Cierniówka Portuguese: Papa-amoras-comum
Spanish: Curruca zarcerilla Swedish: Törnsångare
Local Names: Nettlecreeper

For More Information...

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