Grasshopper warbler

Locustella naevia

SUBFAMILY

Sylviinae

TAXONOMY

Locustella naevia Boddaert, 1783. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Locustelle tachetée; German: Feldschwirl; Spanish: Buscarla Pintoja.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.7-5.1 in (12-13 cm); 0.3-0.6 oz (9.5-18 g). Small grass warbler with olive-brown upperparts, streaked with black, under-parts creamy white, flanks and breast buffy, streaked brown. Short, rounded wings and short graduated tail.

DISTRIBUTION

Breeds from southern Scandinavia, British Isles and France west throughout central Europe and Siberia to Mongolia, Northern China. Winters in Africa and Indian subcontinent.

HABITAT

Grasslands, low scrub, bogs, fens and marshes, with some shrubs and trees.

BEHAVIOR

Very secretive; keeps to dense cover. Gait is a run; flight short and low. Song a high, far-carrying trill, common at night. Female sings during courtship.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages in low vegetation and on ground for insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Female builds cup nest of grass and plant material on or near ground in thick vegetation. The 5-6 eggs are incubated 12-15 days by both parents. Young leave nest after 10-15 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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