Grasshopper Warbler

Scientific name: Locustella naevia

Did you know: The Grasshopper Warbler, a master of concealment, can be heard more often than seen due to its distinctive, cricket-like song.

What Do Grasshopper Warblers Look Like? (how to identify them)

Grasshopper Warblers are small, elusive birds with a knack for blending into their surroundings. 

They feature streaked olive-brown upperparts and creamy underparts, sometimes showing darker spots on their breast and flanks. Both males and females share this muted colouration, making them challenging to differentiate visually. 

Younger birds tend to have a yellower tint on their underparts. With a length of about 12.5 to 13.5 cm and a wingspan of 15 to 19 cm, these warblers are about the size of a typical robin.

Differences Between Male and Female Grasshopper Warblers

In terms of physical appearance, male and female Grasshopper Warblers are nearly identical, sharing the same colouration and size. This similarity is common among warblers, where gender differences are often subtle or non-existent.

What Do Grasshopper Warblers Eat?

Grasshopper Warblers primarily feast on a diet rich in insects, such as flies, moths, beetles, aphids, and their larvae. They also consume spiders, woodlice, and occasionally small molluscs. 

During the breeding season, parents feed their chicks a similar diet, focusing on aphids and caterpillars.

Where Do Grasshopper Warblers Live? (inc. migration info)

Grasshopper Warblers are migratory birds, breeding across Europe and parts of Asia before wintering in Africa and India. In the UK, they favour lowland habitats like reedbeds, grasslands, and scrub areas. Their migration journey is impressive, covering thousands of miles between their breeding and wintering grounds. In Britain, these warblers arrive in April and depart by October.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Grasshopper Warblers)

The Grasshopper Warbler’s song is its signature trait, often likened to the sound of a mowing machine or a trilling insect. This high-pitched, mechanical reeling can last several minutes, typically intensifying at dawn and dusk. The song, combined with the bird’s elusive nature, often makes it heard but not seen.

Fun Grasshopper Warbler Facts (kid-friendly)

  • Their song can sound like it’s coming from everywhere but the bird itself!
  • Their brown and cream feathers blend perfectly with their habitat.
  • They migrate thousands of miles every year.
  • They love to eat bugs and insects.
  • Their nests are so well-hidden, they’re tough to find.
  • On the ground, they move like little mice.
  • Despite being around, they’re hard to spot.
  • They usually have two broods of chicks per year.
  • Both mum and dad help raise their young.
  • They can live up to 5 years, which is quite long for such a small bird.

Grasshopper Warbler Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile

Facts About The Grasshopper Warbler

Diet: Insects
Bird Family: Warblers
Length: 12.5-13.5cm
Wingspan: 15-19cm
Weight: 11-16g
Scientific Name: Locustella naevia

The Grasshopper Warbler Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October