Monday, 18 May 2015

Day 196 - Wonderfully White-Throated White Throats

Hi all today's Day 196 and as you know, yesterday I went bird-ringing with the East Dales Ringing Group. We saw quite a lot of birds I don't see that often such as Tree-creepers and Great Spotted Woodpeckers but I did see something that I had never seen before and I definitely never done a post on. Ringing was really fun as you can read about in yesterday's post and I wanted to say thanks again to the East Dales Ringing Group for letting me come along.

Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)
But anyway, on with today's post. As I mentioned above, I saw something that I had never seen before. While ringing it I actually got the opportunity to set it free which was something which was really nice to do. Anyway, from the title, pictures and yesterday's post, you'll know that today I am covering White Throats.

So, here are the facts:
  • They Summer all over the UK apart from central Scotland. Also they don't occur in Lough Neagh and Lough Foyle in Northern Ireland if you happen to be bird spotting out on the water there.
  • I thought they were quite rare but apparently they have 1,100,000 breeding territories around the UK.
All that flying wears their feathers out
  • They are summer migrants which visit us from tropical or southern Africa. That's a long way to fly and as you can see it the photo all that flying actually wears out their feathers, the tail feathers on this little chap were a bit tatty. Still while they are over here they will grow new feathers.
  • Their Latin name (Sylvia communis) has a completely unrelated name to its English name of Whitethroat. You'd have thought that it would be bosco et terrae candida (Woodland Whitethroat) it actually means A Wood Common. 
  • They are found in all habitats especially Reedbeds, Arable Woodlands and Scrubs but they are last common in Moorland and Bogs.
  • They are rather small birds and only have a length of 14cm and a wingspan of 20cm. Both Male and Female birds weigh only 16g!
A lovely little chap.
  • Since I have recently been bird-ringing, I thought I'd include its ring size in my facts. Their ring-size is A, the second smallest ring-size.
  • They have a typical lifespan of only 2 years but the oldest kind of smashed it? Well, he at least tripled it at 6 years 11 months and 30 days. I bet he wished there was 30 days in a month :-(
  • They have a rather normal diet of insect especially beetles, caterpillars and bugs in the breeding seasonTowards the end of Summer and into Autumn they usually eat berries.
  • There is an interesting fact on the BTO site which shows how vulnerable some species are. In western Africa in 1968 there was a big drought. This caused 90% of their population to be wiped out - and they are still recovering from this. Just shows its important for us to do all we can for nature.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. These birds are so sweet! Lovely photos as always Zach! - Tasha