Lesser Whitethroat

Irish Name: Gilphíb bheag
Scientific name: Sylvia curruca
Bird Family: Warblers
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Conservation status

Status

Rare summer visitor from April to September and scarce passage migrant mainly in autumn.

Identification

Superficially similar to Common Whitethroat, though slightly smaller than that species. In all plumages, has black legs (pink in Common Whitethroat). Adult summer Lesser Whitethroats have a featureless dark-grey head, which contrasts srongly to the white throat. The back, wings and tail are a dark grey-brown colour, with the underparts having a similar dark grey-brown wash. Juvenile birds are largely similar, though some may have a narrow white supercilium.

Voice

Most frequently heard is a quiet "teck". The song consists of two parts, the first being a short scratchy warble, which is followed by a series (usually 5 or 6) of "tell" notes.

Diet

Feeds almost exclusively on insects and other invertebrates.

Breeding

Only a handful of pairs breed in Ireland, mainly in the east. Preferred habitat is of mature mature hedgerows in farmland. Also larger parks and gardens. More widespread in Britain (65,000 pairs) and Continental Europe.

Wintering

Lesser Whitethroats winter in East Africa, migrating through the Middle East. Occasionally single Lesser Whiethroats have been noted overwintering in gardens.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey and BirdTrack.

Similar Species

Whitethroat

Irish Name:
Gilphíb
Scientific name:
Sylvia communis
Bird Family:
Warblers

Blackcap

Irish Name:
Caipín dubh
Scientific name:
Sylvia atricapilla
Bird Family:
Warblers