Aquatic Warbler Diet and Size: Feeding Habits, Predators, and Measurements

Aquatic Warbler Diet and Size: Feeding Habits, Predators, and Measurements

The aquatic warbler is a small bird that lives in wetlands and bogs and is in serious decline due to environmental issues. In fact, the aquatic warbler is the most threatened passerine in Europe.

This is mainly due to loss of habitat caused by the draining of wetlands and the decline of traditional agriculture. In this article we’ll be looking into the diet, feeding habits and size of the aquatic warbler as well as the main predators that threaten the survival of this fascinating small bird. 

What Does An Aquatic Warbler Eat?

Let’s start with the diet of the aquatic warbler and look at what these wetland birds eat. As they spend their lives on boggy wetlands and marshland, the aquatic warbler’s diet consists of insects that can be found living alongside them in this wet environment.

Aquatic warblers are known to eat;

  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Caterpillars
  • Spiders
  • Snails
  • Slugs
  • Worms
  • Grasshoppers
  • Beetles
  • Crickets

They are also known to eat berries when other food sources are in short supply.

What To Feed A Baby Aquatic Warbler

The female aquatic warbler feeds her babies mainly insects, spiders and grubs which are rich in protein which is needed for their growth and development.

She will hunt close to the nest site so the choice of insects will be limited to whatever happens to be in the area at that time. She will take insects from the stems and leaves of plants growing in the wetlands.

As well as foraging for insects and invertebrates close to the ground.

How Big Is An Aquatic Warbler?

Aquatic Warbler

The aquatic warbler is similar in length to a robin. The aquatic warbler is around 13 cm in length with a wingspan of slightly less than a robin at somewhere between 16.5 to 19.5 cm.

They winter in west Africa and over 70% of the aquatic warbler population breed in wetlands and boggy areas in the Polesie region of south Belarus.

How Much Does An Aquatic Warbler Weigh

The aquatic warbler weighs around 10 to 14 grams which is the same weight as a graphite pencil (10 g) or an empty 330 ml soft drink can (14 g).

By comparison, a young robin will be a similar size and weight, however as the robin matures it will become around ⅓ heavier than an aquatic warbler weighing in at 21 grams.

What Eats An Aquatic Warbler?

With the loss of much of their natural habitat and their relatively short lifespan of around 2.5 to 3 years, the aquatic warbler is under constant threat of extinction. It doesn’t help that they are also hunted by shrews that destroy their nests and eat their eggs and young chicks.

Those that survive to adulthood are then under threat from marsh harriers that prey on aquatic warblers and their fledglings.

Are Aquatic Warblers An Endangered Species?

The aquatic warbler is considered to be a vulnerable species all around the world. This is because of their low numbers and the fact that their breeding grounds are concentrated in such a small geographical area.

The main reason for the loss of their natural habitat is due to the drainage of wetlands (mainly for the extraction of peat) and a change in agricultural methods and practices. Which has led to a reduced area suitable for aquatic warblers to breed as well as early mowing of agricultural fields which destroys many aquatic warbler nests every year.

Are Aquatic Warblers A Protected Species?

In the UK aquatic warblers, like all birds, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) which prevents any species from being killed, injured or taken into captivity.

They are also protected in Germany, Hungary, Belarus and Poland (where their main breeding grounds are located). Plus the Djoudj National Park in Senegal where the majority of aquatic warblers over winter is also a protected site.

SEE ALSO: Blue Tit vs Great Tit: Key Differences Explained

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the population of the aquatic warbler?

The worldwide population of the aquatic warbler is somewhere between 11,000 to 15,000 pairs.

What is the wingspan of the aquatic warbler?

The aquatic warbler has a wingspan of anywhere between 16.5 to 19.5 cm, with an overall length of around 13 cm.

Do aquatic warblers over winter in the UK?

No, aquatic warblers do not over winter in the UK. They pass through the UK in late August and often stay for a few weeks before flying to west Africa where they over winter.

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