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Whitethroat, Sylvia communis

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Whitethroat, Sylvia communis

Unread postby DuQues » Tue May 18, 2010 1:29 pm

The Whitethroat, Sylvia communis, is a common and widespread typical warbler which breeds throughout Europe and across much of temperate western Asia. This small passerine bird is strongly migratory, and winters in tropical Africa, Arabia and Pakistan.

This is one of several Sylvia species that has distinct male and female plumages. Both sexes are mainly brown above and buff below, with chestnut fringes to the secondary remiges. The adult male has a grey head and a white throat. The female lacks the grey head, and the throat is duller. The Whitethroat's song is fast and scratchy, with a scolding tone.

This species was believed by some to be closely related to the Lesser Whitethroat, the species having evolved only during the end of the last ice age similar to the Willow Warbler and Chiffchaffs. But researchers learned soon that this is not correct, and now it is known that white throats are unreliable morphological markers for relationships in Sylvia. Chestnut wing patches, like white throats, seem to be plesiomorphic, but indicate phylogeny better. Nonetheless, apart from the Whitethroat not being closely related to the Lesser Whitethroat group, little can be resolved as it seems a fairly basal taxon.

This is a bird of open country and cultivation, with bushes for nesting. The nest is built in low shrub or brambles, and 3-7 eggs are laid. Like most "warblers", it is insectivorous, but will also take berries and other soft fruit.

This is the bird, at the moment of posting (may 2010) there are tons of them in the dunes in Holland.

As you can hear when you play it's sound we are very happy when it comes back from Africa, it's song is all over the place, and summery!
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c

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Re: Whitethroat, Sylvia communis

Unread postby Rusty Justy » Wed May 19, 2010 4:41 pm

Great photograph DQ :clap:
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Re: Whitethroat, Sylvia communis

Unread postby granjan » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:29 pm

This one made itself at home in my garden this summer.
whitethroat by jansp, on Flickr

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