Aquatic Warbler Life Cycle: From Nest Building to Flight

Aquatic Warbler Life Cycle: From Nest Building to Flight

Due to environmental issues the aquatic warbler population is in serious decline. With that said, it’s still possible to see aquatic warblers in parts of the UK from August and into the autumn months.

These birds are seriously threatened worldwide and are Europe’s most threatened passerine. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating little bird.

What Is An Aquatic Warbler’s Habitat?

The aquatic warbler breeds in warmer areas of eastern Europe and western Asia with around 70% of the world’s population found in eastern Poland and south Belarus.

They winter in west Africa and prefer wet sedge beds with vegetation that is shorter than 12 inches (30 cm). The main threat to the survival of the aquatic warbler is the loss of their habitat due to the draining of wetlands and the decline of traditional agriculture.

Since 2012, 16 countries have signed an agreement to help preserve the preferred habitat of the aquatic warbler.

How Long Does It Take For An Aquatic Warbler To Build A Nest?

Female aquatic warblers build the nest in around 3 to 5 days. She makes the nest in low vegetation and lays around 3 to 5 eggs. The nest is constructed as a cup shape out of grass, plant stems, leaves, spider’s webs and soft plant material which is woven together and then lined with softer plant matter.

The eggs are brown and covered in darker brown spots and the mother incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days. After around 40 to 45 days she will lay another clutch of eggs and rear a second brood the same year.

How Many Chicks Does An Aquatic Warbler Have?

Aquatic Warbler

A female aquatic warbler can lay anywhere between 3 to 5 eggs in each clutch and often raises 2 broods in the same year. This means she could technically raise 10 chicks in one season.

However, she will typically lose one or two due to the eggs not being successfully fertilised and another two or three during the nesting period. Which means if she’s lucky, all 10 offspring will survive, but the reality is that around 6 or 7 will actually survive to adulthood.

How Long Does An Aquatic Warbler Live

Although there has not been much research done into the lifespan of the aquatic warbler, it is estimated that they live for around 2.5 to 3 years. Unless they get predated by either shrews or marsh harriers.

They are said to breed for the first time at the age of around one year old.

How Fast Can An Aquatic Warbler Fly?

The aquatic warbler is around 13 cm in length and has a wingspan of around 16.5 to 19.5 cm. The aquatic warbler is estimated to fly at around 25 to 30 miles per hour which is impressive given its small size and stature.

They use their speed to catch insects, grubs, caterpillars and spiders for food. And when you think of the amount of miles the aquatic warbler covers in a year all the way from Europe to west Africa, at 25 to 30 miles per hour, that’s a long flight!

SEE ALSO: Blue Tit Eggs to Chicks: Hatching, Development, and Fledging

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to see aquatic warblers in the UK?

The best time to see aquatic warblers in the UK is from August through to the autumn.

Where are aquatic warblers found?

The aquatic warbler can be found breeding in eastern Europe, wintering in west Africa or in some parts of southern Britain during August and the autumn.

How much does an aquatic warbler weigh?

The average weight of an aquatic warbler is around 10 to 14 grams.

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