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Tips On Photographing Savi's Warbler

Tips and tricks for finding and photographing Savi's warbler.

| Animals / Wildlife

Tips On Photographing Savi's Warbler: Savi's Warbler


Flying from central Europe to Africa and coming back every year is not an easy task. The Savi's warbler may not look very impressive but looks can be deceiving.



The Savi's warbler is a small passerine bird from the old world warbler family. It is about 14cm long and can weigh a maximum of 24 grams. It has a dark, almost red-brown top. The breast and flanks are beige-ish brown, while the stomach and throat are whitish. Under the broad, rounded tail is another important identifying feature: unlike the very similar looking reed warbler whose under tail coverts are rust beige coloured, those of the Savi's warbler are white.



In Europe, the range of Savi's warbler goes from the Iberian Peninsula to the southernmost tip of Britain and stretches as a broad strip to the Urals. As long-distance migrants, Savi's warblers fly every year to Africa and spend the winter there. Most head for the area between the southern Sahara and the northern border of the rainforest.

Savi’s warblers feel comfortable in lakes or bogs with lots of reeds and vegetation. They are particularly fond of reed beds.


Behaviour & Facts

The Savi's warbler can be difficult to spot when it is flitting in the reeds but often reveals itself by its singing, a high-pitched reeling trill often preceded by series of low ticks. The Savi's warbler’s singing also sounds fairly similar to the Roesel’s bush-cricket’s stridulation.

In case of danger, the warbler takes a posture to improve its camouflage. It holds its head vertically in the air and presses its tail to the ground, allowing its plumage to blend with the surrounding vegetation. This behaviour is called bitterning, from one of its best-known users, the Eurasian bittern.

Savi’s warbler mainly feed on insects and spiders. They start breeding in mid-April. The nest is built by the female, well hidden among the reeds. Four to six eggs are laid and the female incubates them for twelve days. The young are fed by the female and fledge after 12 days. Most of the time, there are two broods during a single season.


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