Friday, 11 November 2011

Sardinian Warbler (Sylvia melanocephala)

Latin Etymology: Sylvia ("forest") melanocephala ("black headed")
Adult male Sardinian Warbler (subspecies S. m. melaocephala) at Capo Murro di Porco, Sicily Italy - May 2018

Featured Subspecies: Sylvia melanocephala melanocephala
Local Name (Spain):  Curruca cabecinegra  ("Black-headed Warbler")
Local Name (Italy): L'occhiocotto ("The Warbler")
Weight: 12-25g
Length: 13cm
Wingspan: 18m

NO UK STATUS / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

A rather striking little warbler, which looks kind of like a strange mix of a whitethroat and a Dartford warbler, the female having the colouration of the former, with a long tail and red eye making it more reminiscent of the Dartford Warbler. The red ring around the eye is the main diagnostic feature, and this species will tend to fly up onto a perch before quickly diving back into cover.  The male has a black head and a grey body, as opposed to the pictured dark grey and brown.  These birds are found throughout the Mediterranean where they are one of the more common warblers.

Related Species:
Family: Sylviidae
Genus: Sylvia
Subspecies: S. m. melanocephala, S. m. momus, S. m. norrisae (extinct)

 - Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - A fairly common resident.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: A few seen around Italica
ITALY - A fairly common resident
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Abundant at Capo Murro di Porco

Further Notes: ArkiveBirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-Canto   

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