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Sylvia atricapilla

Depicted is a male blackcap, distinguishable by the black cap. Females have a light brown cap. Photo Jouni Kannonlahti.

General information. The blackcap is a sparse nester in Finland’s deciduous forests. However, the nesting population in the country has increased after the 1950’s. According to the latest national bird atlas surveys, an average of 0,3 pairs of blackcaps nest per square kilometer in the southern area of Finland. Censuses carried out in Vaasa indicate a density of nesting pairs of 1,4 pairs/ km² in the most favorable areas.

  • Length 15 cm
  • Nests in a bush or under cover of undergrowth
  • Winters in Central- and southern Europe
  • Feeds on insects, spiders and berries

Habitat. The blackcap is a passerine living in deciduous and mixed-type forests. It prefers herb rich forests with older tree populations, along with high and lush undergrowth. It is most easily spotted in Vaasa’s waterfront groves, for example in Vaskiluoto, Gerby, Suvilahti, or around Onkilahti.

Distribution in Vaasa. During the nesting season, the blackcap was observed in about 90 survey blocks in Vaasa, with the main areas of distribution occurring within cultural landscape areas. Seemingly, it also prefers lush, grove-like forests near human settlements.