|Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus coullybita)|
As usual I wanted to find out more about these little guys so here's a few facts I found:
- It's no wonder I found them hard to find and photograph as they only sing in trees more than 5m tall
- Seems strange then that the females build domed nests close to the ground in tall grass, bushes or climbing plants
|What`s under here?|
- They are a green status bird with over 1.2 million breeding territories across the UK
- For most of the UK they are a spring and summer visitor, though if you live in the south of England or Ireland you may see them all year as there are around 500-1000 wintering birds in these areas.
- If they don't stay in the UK they head off to warmer places stretching from the Mediterranean to North Africa to India
- They are one of the first birds to arrive back from their winter holidays and you can sometimes hear their distinctive song as early as late February but it's usually nearer the middle of March when you first hear them. The first one I heard this year was around a week ago.
- They are a small leaf warbler, more or less the size of a blue tit, being 10cm long, 18cm wingspan and weighing around 9g.
- Their latin name Phylloscopus coullybita is interesting. The first bit roughly translates as 'leaf watcher' - from the Greek phullion=a leaf + skopos=a watcher and refers to their eating habits. The second bit comes from kollubistes=money-changer and is based on their song which is sometimes compared to the jingling of money.
|It kept flitting around the tree to sing.|
- Sadly they don't live that long only typically 2 years, but the oldest recorded one was 7 years 7 months old.
- They prefer open woodlands and scrubland but can be found in other habitats
- Most of their diet is insects picked off trees or caught in flight but they will also eat fruit in the Autumn
- Warblers have interesting collective names including a fall, a wrench, a confusion or my favourite a bouquet!
Well, I loved looking up these birds and if you want to find out more try these sites:
Hope you enjoyed,