Phylloscopus trochilus (*)
Phylloscopus trochilus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Systema Naturae ed.10 p.188
The Willow Warbler (formerly called the Willow Wren,) Phylloscopus trochilus, is a very common and widespread leaf warbler which breeds throughout northern and temperate Europe and Asia.
It was described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758 under the genus Motacilla.
This "warbler" is strongly migratory and the majority of the population winters in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the first leaf warblers to return in the spring but is later than the Chiffchaff, Phylloscopus collybita.
This is a bird of open woodlands with trees and ground cover for nesting, including birch and willow uplands. The nest is usually built in close contact with the ground, often in low vegetation. Like most Old World warblers, this small passerine is insectivorous.
This is a typical leaf warbler in appearance, greenish brown above and off-white below. It is very similar to the Chiffchaff, but non-singing birds can be distinguished from that species by their paler legs, longer paler bill, more elegant shape and longer primary projection. Its song is a simple repetitive descending whistle.
* mid-September to mid-April: lives in sub Saharan Africa
Research indicates that Willow Warblers prefer young, open, scrubby woodland; small trees including coppice. High amounts of Birch, lichen, water features eg streams, fields with large amounts of bracken and mosses, and patches of low bramble (for nest cover) are also required. They use coppice up to 10 years old, preferring Birch and damper soils. Incorporating woodland ride edge thickets is beneficial, as is 15 metre woodland edges of varying structure and height. They prefer damp woodland areas. Thicket forming shrubs like blackthorn provide pockets of habitat. Deer browsing can degrade the required low cover.
Status and conservation
In England this species has on average decreased in population by 70% within the last 25 years. The biggest declines have occurred in the South East, whilst in Scotland some increases have occurred.
The Forestry Commission offers grants under a scheme called England's Woodland Improvement Grant (EWIG); as does Natural Englands Environmental Stewardship Scheme.
1. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Phylloscopus trochilus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Source: Wikispecies, Wikipedia: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License