Common Chiffchaff 

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Phylloscopus Collybita 

Common Chiffchaff

Adults have olive-green washed dull brown upperparts . The flight feathers and tail are brown with fine pale olive-green fringes.

The underparts are whitish or pale yellowish-white. The flanks and breast sides are tinged yellow or finely streaked yellow.

The undertail coverts are creamy-white, variably washed buff, the underwing have yellow coverts and axillaries.

Head is olive-brown with pale yellowish supercilium and fine whitish eye-ring contrasting with dark brown eye stripe.

The eyes are dark brown, legs and feet are black or dark brown.

Winter plumage is duller and browner.

Both sexes are similar in plumage, but females are smaller than males.

Juveniles have gray-brown upperparts and yellowish-white underparts.

Throat and breast are washed buffish.

BILL: pointed, dark brown to blackish.

SIZE: small, measuring about 4 inches in length.

WEIGHT: males weigh about 7 - 8 grams and females, about 6 - 7 grams.

COLOR: olive-green, brown, white, yellow, black and buff.

Insects, adults, eggs and larvae, and other arthropods; small molluscs, seeds and berries.

Lowland deciduous forests, the woodlands with short undergrowth, hedgerows, large gardens and parks, and reedbeds.

Wooded habitats such as coastal scrub and willow thickets;

Also parks, gardens and cultivated areas in non-breeding season.

Northern and temperate Europe and Asia.

Most of them spend the winter in Southern and Western Europe, South Asia and North Africa.

CALL: A simple “hooeet” or “hweet”, soft and melancholy.

They give some high- pitched, descending notes “cheip” or “chiip” in autumn.

The contact call between mates is a short, soft “drit” or “it”.

SONG: A lively series of “chiff-chaff chiff-chaff…” often preceded by dry “tret” or “trrt”.

The male sings from treetops, during spring and during migrations.

NEST: Nest is built on or near the ground in a concealed site in brambles, nettles or other dense low vegetation.

The nest is mainly built by the female, it is a ball made of dry grasses and leaves, moss, plant fibers and feathers.

EGGS: 5 - 6 cream-colored eggs with tiny ruddy, purple or blackish spots.

INCUBATION: 13 - 14 days, female only.

They forage from the ground to the canopy.

They take insects from the vegetation by foraging among the foliage in trees, and also in bushes, low vegetation or directly on the ground.

The males are highly territorial during the breeding season.

Common Chiffchaff Infographic




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