Garden Warbler Sylvia borin   [Boddaert, 1783]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Sylviidae
BTO Codes: GW, GARWA EURING No: 12760
Number in Britain: 170 thousand Territories (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: borin recorded in Britain (of 2 subsp. in the world)
Length: 14 cm Wingspan: 22 cm Weight: M/F: 19 g    
Scientific name from: L.: silva=a wood and Italian (Genovese) name for a type of warbler
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, w Asia, WINTERS: tropical & s Africa
Habitat: Forest edge, scrub, towns
Diet: Summer, insects, otherwise fruit mainly in scrub
TitBit: In Britain, the Garden Warbler feeds mainly on insects (the chicks need a high protein diet), but in autumn it switches to fruit (like brambles and elderberry) which is high in energy to fuel its migration, indeed in Portugal it is known as the 'fig-warbler'.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: Wales   England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore    BBS Maps
British Population Size:
    Summer: 170 thousand Territories in 2009
    First Record: Lancashire, c. 1800 [Fossil evidence from Hoxnian (penultimate) interglacial, c. 200,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: GREEN
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern: borin GREEN
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Scrub
    Also common in: Deciduous Wood
    And found in: Coniferous Wood
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
Average Day of First Arrival: 20 Apr
European Population Size:
    Summer: 8.5 to 16 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: 20 x 15 mm Egg Weight: 2.2 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 61   (more would be welcome!)
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs 4.32 ± 0.71 (2 - 6) N = 579
Incubation: 11- 13 days 11.30 ± 1.22 (9.5 - 13.5) N = 579   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 11 - 13days 11.52 ± 1.19 (9 - 13) N = 869 as: Altricial, naked
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 21 May (8 May - 21 Jun)
Number of Broods: 1(2)
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.500 ± 0.045       
Juvenile Survival: 0.265 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 9 years 10 months 24 days (set in 2006)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: A (pulli B)
Wing Length Adult: 77.9 ± 2.0 Range 75 - 81 mm, N =6566
Juvenile: 77.0 ± 2.1 74 - 81 mm, N =8124
Male: 78.0 ± 2.1 75 - 81 mm, N =1017
Female: 77.7 ± 1.9 75 - 81 mm, N =1859
Weight Adult: 17.24 ± 1.62 Range 15.20 - 20.40 g , N =5834
Juvenile: 18.48 ± 2.35 15.40 - 23.00 g , N =7512
Male: 16.69 ± 1.07 15.20 - 18.50 g , N =894
Female: 17.51 ± 1.59 15.40 - 20.50 g , N =1612
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Ceileiriche-gàraidh Welsh: Telor yr Ardd
Danish: Havesanger Dutch: Tuinfluiter
Finnish: Lehtokerttu French: Fauvette des jardins
German: Gartengrasmücke Hungarian: Kerti poszáta
Icelandic: Garðsöngvari Irish: Ceolaire Garraí
Italian: Beccafico Norwegian: Hagesanger
Polish: Gakówka Portuguese: Felosa-das-figueiras
Spanish: Curruca mosquitera Swedish: Trädgårdssångare
Local Names: Pettychap

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Garcia, E. 1989 The Blackcap and the Garden Warbler Shire Publications, Princes Risborough [Jour: S]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides