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
Weight: 12-25g  /  Length: 13cm  /  Wingspan: 18m
ABSENT FROM UK / 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 -
ITALY - Italian - L'occhiocotto ("The Warbler")

A fairly common resident
 - SICILY 2018 TRIP - Abundant at Capo Murro di Porco

SPAIN - Spanish - Curruca cabecinegra  ("Black-headed Warbler")
A fairly common resident.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: A few seen around Italica

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-Canto   

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