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Wood Warbler

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

The wood warbler is distinguished from the willow warbler by its larger size. However, it is most easily recognized by its song.  Photo Jan Nyman.

General information. The wood warbler is a southern species that has been increasing in population size in Finland ever since the 19th century. Nesting populations in Finland have been at their largest in the 1990’s, after which numbers have declined. The wood warbler is a near threatened species according to Finland’s threat classification system.

  • Length 13 cm
  • Nests on the ground under vegetation cover
  • Winters in Africa
  • Feeds on insects

Habitat. In Vaasa, the wood warbler dwells in lush, grove-like forests and along forest edges. It is most easily spotted in its territory during May after directly returning from wintering in Africa. In the morning, their species-specific, chirping song can be heard in appropriate groves.

The singing period of the wood warbler is short and the species is very difficult to spot after midsummer. High up from the branches it reveals itself with a mellow ‘piüü’ call, warning its young of the humans moving nearby.

Distribution in Vaasa. The wood warbler nests sparsely in Vaasa. It was recorded in about 50 survey blocks during the nesting season in May to July. Occurrence is concentrated to lush herb rich forests and mixed-type forests in the southern parts of the city. The most likely place to spot the wood warbler is in the deciduous forests in the valley area surrounding the Vanha Vaasa Canal and in the waterfront groves in Vaskiluoto and Onkilahti. The wood warbler may also be spotted in Melaniemi, Haapaniemi and Ristinummi.