Lesser Whitethroat

Scientific name: Curruca curruca

Did you know: The Lesser Whitethroat, a dainty warbler with a distinctive ‘masked’ appearance, can be hard to spot but is often given away by its unique, rattling song.

What Do Lesser Whitethroats Look Like? (how to identify them)

Lesser Whitethroats are small warblers, slightly larger than blue tits. 

They display a characteristic ‘masked’ look, thanks to their dark cheek feathers contrasting with pale throats. Their upper parts are grey-brown, while the underparts are off-white. In flight, you might catch a glimpse of the white outer feathers of their tails.

Differences Between Male And Female Lesser Whitethroats

Males and females are quite similar in appearance, both sporting the dark cheek mask and pale throat. However, during the breeding season, males may show more pronounced colours.

What Do Lesser Whitethroats Eat?

During spring and summer, Lesser Whitethroats mainly feast on insects. In autumn, they switch to berries, building up fat reserves for their migratory journey.

Where Do Lesser Whitethroats Live? (inc. migration info)

Lesser Whitethroats breed in various habitats across the UK, including woodlands, farmlands, and urban areas. They migrate to Africa south of the Sahara, Arabia, and India for winter.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Lesser Whitethroats)

Lesser Whitethroats are often noticed by their distinctive calls – a harsh, rattling song or a ‘tacking’ sound. These sounds are particularly useful for locating these elusive birds.

Fun Lesser Whitethroat Facts (kid friendly)

  • Lesser Whitethroats are tinier than their cousin, the Whitethroat.
  • They have a unique ‘masked’ appearance.
  • These birds can hang upside down to feed.
  • Their song is a harsh, rattling sound.
  • They travel long distances to Africa for the winter.
  • In autumn, they love feasting on berries.
  • Lesser Whitethroats prefer living in places with lots of bushes and trees.
  • They’re a bit shy and love to stay hidden.
  • Their tail has white edges, which you might see when they fly.
  • Finding a Lesser Whitethroat can be like a treasure hunt in nature!

Lesser Whitethroat 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 Lesser Whitethroat

Diet: In spring and summer, they mainly eat insects. In autumn, these warblers feed up on berries to build up their fat reserves before migration.
Bird Family: Warblers
Length: 13 cm
Wingspan: 18 cm
Weight: 12 g - the same as 12 paperclips or two goldcrests
Scientific Name: Curruca curruca

The Lesser Whitethroat Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

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