Whitethroat

Whitethroat

Scientific name: Curruca communis

Did you know: The Whitethroat, a melodious summer visitor to the UK, can journey all the way from sub-Saharan Africa, showcasing nature’s incredible endurance!

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

Whitethroats are enchanting medium-sized warblers, comparable in size to a Great Tit. They are known for their long, expressive tails that they flick and cock while navigating through foliage. 

Males boast a distinguished grey head and a stark white throat, contrasting with their brown backs and beige undersides. This distinctive appearance makes them a delightful sight during their summer stay in the UK.

Differences Between Male And Female Whitethroats

Male Whitethroats are easily recognisable with their grey heads and brilliant white throats, making them stand out in their natural habitat. Females, while equally charming, have a subtler brownish head and a less pronounced throat colour, blending more seamlessly with the surroundings.

What Do Whitethroats Eat?

These birds have a diverse diet, mainly feasting on insects and invertebrates. In the autumn, their palate shifts to include berries and fruits, adapting to the seasonal offerings of their environment.

Where Do Whitethroats Live? (inc. migration info)

Whitethroats prefer open habitats rich in low vegetation like scrubs and hedgerows. They are widespread across the UK, avoiding urban and mountainous regions. Fascinatingly, these birds are migratory marvels, spending winters in Africa, south of the Sahara, and returning to the UK for breeding.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Whitethroats)

The song of the Whitethroat is distinct and scratchy, with a somewhat scolding tone. Their calls are hoarse and nasal, often described as ‘wed-wed’ or ‘woid-woid’, making their vocal presence as notable as their visual one.

Fun Whitethroat Facts (kid-friendly)

  • Whitethroats can fly all the way from Africa to the UK each year to breed.
  • They have a special song that sounds scratchy and fast.
  • The male Whitethroat has a grey head and a white throat, while the female is a bit duller in colour.
  • These birds love to eat bugs and berries.
  • Whitethroats build their nests in bushes and lay 3-7 eggs.
  • They are about the size of a Great Tit and have a long tail that they flick around.
  • In the 1960s, a drought in Africa caused a big decrease in their numbers in the UK.
  • Whitethroats have different colours on their wings – the males have rufous (reddish-brown) edges, which look really pretty.
  • Despite being small, they are known for their boldness, often seen darting in and out of cover.
  • They can be spotted in the UK from mid-April to early October, singing their unique songs.

Facts About The Whitethroat

Diet: Insects, and berries and fruit in autumn.
Bird Family: Warblers
Length: 14cm
Wingspan: 18.5-23cm
Weight: 12-18g
Scientific Name: Curruca communis

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

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

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