Acrocephalus schoenobaenus - Sedge Warbler

Phylum:  Chordata - Class: Aves - Order: Passeriformes - Family: Sylviideae

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

The Sedge Warbler is a summer visitor to Britain, arriving around the end of April and leaving in September. Sedge Warblers spend our winter months in southern Africa's summer sunshine.


The Sedge Warbler is about 13cm long and has a wingspan of some 19cm or so. its plumage is sandy brown, paler below and streaky above, and it has a dark, streaked cap and a distinctive white eyestripe. The male's song is rambling, rather than rhythmic, and it is very varied, as this little bird is a skilful mimic, copying the calls of other wetland bird species.


Sedge Warblers are common wetland songbirds and widely distributed throughout Britain and Ireland; however, in Scotland they are mainly found in the lowlands. This slim little warbler can be found throughout most of mainland Europe.

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus, Sedge Warbler in sunlight


Sedge Warblers feed mainly on such insects as mayflies, damselflies, moths and beetles, which they gather from among reeds and other waterside plants. They will also eat small berries.


The cup-shaped nest, built by the female either on the ground or low down suspended between reed stems, is lined with hair and/or plant down. There, a batch of typically four greenish-yellow, brown-mottle eggs is laid, and they are incubated in about a fortnight. The young fledge about two weeks after hatching, but they continue to beg for food from the parents for a further week or more.


This page includes pictures kindly contributed by Will Bown.

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