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Birding Málaga


Common name Western orphean warbler
Scientific name Sylvia hortensis
Type Shrubland birds
Status Summer

It is the largest and stoutest of the warblers (about 15 cm or 6 in). Back of grey colour, whitish breast with pinkish tones. Sturdy bill, yellow eyes and throat of white colour. Dark fringe on the face as a mask, clearer on the females. It lacks red eye-ring.



Where it lives

Unlike other warblers, it is not a scrubland bird. The Western Orphean Warbler prefers the open and not very dense treetops of the groves, especially grasslands, pine groves and tree crops such as olive groves.

How it lives

Summer species that breeds in Malaga and crosses the Sahara to spend the winter. In the province it can also be watched in the migratory passage. This bird breeds from April. A single annual laying of 3 to 6 eggs. Insectivorous feeding that is complemented with berries and fruits.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

It is a frequent bird, present in Malaga in areas of olive groves and holm oak woods with plenty of grassland. In the Great Path it can be watched, for example, in stages 10, 11, 13, 23, 24 and 33.

Curious facts

The name of this warbler in Spanish (“curruca mirlona”) refers to its song, similar to that of a blackbird (“mirlo”). This, together with its corpulence and its preference for treetops, distinguishes it from the rest of the warblers.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration