Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)

OTHER NAMES: Bluethroat Redpoll
Latin Etymology: Luscinia ("Nightingale") svecica ("Swedish")

First Winter Male Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica - unknown subspecies) at Willow Tree Fen, Lincolnshire - February 2017

Featured Subspecies: Unknown - probably L. s. svecica or L. s. cyanecula
Weight: 12-25g  /  Length: 13-14cm  /  Wingspan: 23cm
UK AMBER LIST IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The bluethroat is a small robin like bird found throughout much of Eurasia, although it's range is fairly scattered due to habitat requirements - it breeds in colder, wooded areas, usually near water and then in Winter heads either South or at least into lowland wetlands to Winter.  The Summer plumage male is in my opinion one of the prettiest of all European birds- a brilliant blue throat and chest interspersed with bands of orange and black (and in some subspecies, white spots) and a flash of bright russet orange on the tail.   This particular bird is very unusual in that in the UK it is normally a passage migrant that appears only very briefly - usually a few hours or so - before vanishing on, while this bird at Willow Tree Fen was not only very early in the year, but also has of my writing this been present for several weeks - seemingly it might be deciding to Winter here.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Luscinia
SUBSPECIES: L. s. svecica, L.s. namnetum, L. s. cyanecula, L. s. azuricollis, L. s. volgae, L. s. magna, L. s. luristanica, L. s. pallidogularis, L. s. tianschanica, L. s. abbotti, L. s. przewalskii, L. s. kobdensis

 - Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A rare but regular passage migrant.
 - Seen at Willow Tree Fen (February 2017) 

Further Notes: BirdForum OpusIUCN Red List, RSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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