Savi’s Warbler

Scientific name: Locustella luscinioides

Did you know: Savi’s Warbler, named after the Italian ornithologist Paolo Savi, is a remarkable bird that can sing a continuous, insect-like buzzing song, making it a unique member of the UK’s avian community.

What Do Savi’s Warblers Look Like? (how to identify them)

Savi’s Warblers are distinguished by their warm brown plumage, which they use to blend seamlessly into their reed bed habitats. These birds, typically around 14-15 cm in length, can be challenging to spot due to their elusive nature. However, their distinctive song often betrays their presence. 

They have a slender brown beak and brown irises, with a uniform dark reddish-brown back, sometimes showing a greenish tinge. The underparts are a contrasting whitish-buff, and they possess indistinct buff eye-stripes, making them a unique sight among the reeds.

Differences Between Male And Female Savi’s Warblers

Unlike some bird species, male and female Savi’s Warblers are visually identical, sharing the same grey-brown back and whitish-grey underparts. This similarity extends to young birds, although they tend to have a yellower hue below.

What Do Savi’s Warblers Eat?

Savi’s Warblers are primarily insectivores, feasting on a diet rich in insects like flies, beetles, moths, grubs, and damselflies. They are also known to consume small worms, especially during their breeding season.

Where Do Savi’s Warblers Live? (inc. migration info)

Savi’s Warblers are summer visitors to the UK, breeding in select reedbed sites in East Anglia and southern England. They inhabit reed beds and marshes, often with some bushes. Their migration journey is impressive, with these birds wintering in northern and sub-Saharan Africa. The UK breeding population is small, with only an estimated 1-3 pairs.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Savi’s Warblers)

The song of a Savi’s Warbler is its defining feature. It’s a monotonous, mechanical, insect-like reeling, often performed at dusk. This song, resembling the sound of Roesel’s bush-cricket, is faster and deeper compared to other species in its group.

Fun Savi’s Warbler Facts (kid friendly)

  • Savi’s Warbler is named after Paolo Savi, an Italian ornithologist who first described the species.
  • They have a special song that sounds like a buzzing insect.
  • Savi’s Warblers love to live in reed beds, making them excellent hide-and-seek players.
  • They travel all the way from Africa to the UK every summer.
  • While hard to spot, they can often be heard before they’re seen.
  • These birds are a bit of a rarity in the UK, with only a few pairs breeding each year.
  • They build their nests in reeds, just like moorhens.
  • Savi’s Warblers can sing both high and low-pitched songs.
  • They love to eat insects, making them natural pest controllers.

Savi’s 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 Savi’s Warbler

Diet: Insects.
Bird Family: Warblers
Length: 14-15cm
Wingspan: 15-20cm
Weight: 14.5-16.5g
Scientific Name: Locustella luscinioides

The Savi’s Warbler Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August