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Common name Willow warbler
Scientific name Phylloscopus trochilus
Type Forest birds
Status Migrator

Bird of small size (about 12 cm or 4.5 in) of bright greenish and yellowish tones in the upperparts and whitish ones in the underparts. During the autumn in juveniles the yellowish tone of their lower parts is much more stressed. Yellowish legs and short, fine bill. It exhibits a yellowish eyebrow and a darker lore (facial line that goes from the base of the bill to the eye). It is a difficult species to identify.


Woodland environments and scrubland

Where it lives

Woodland bird linked to cleared forest stands, young or in regeneration, with abundant shrubland. Preference for humid forests and groves. During its migratory passages the Willow Warbler can be watched in a wide variety of environments.

How it lives

Species present in Malaga only during the migratory passage. Trans-Saharan migrant, it spends the winter in tropical Africa. This warbler starts breeding from May, with a single annual laying of 3 to 9 eggs. Nest in shrubs, near the ground. Insectivore, it consumes mostly spiders and other small insects. During the migration this bird complements its diet with fruits to increase its reserve of energy.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

In Malaga it is a relatively frequent species in much of the province, especially during the post-nuptial migration, at which time it can be observed even in parks and gardens. In the Great Path it can be watched, for example, in stages 30 and 31.

Curious facts

The common name in Spanish of this bird is "Mosquitero musical" ("musical warbler") and derives from the notes that it emits during its song, vivacious, in a descending and melodic sequence. Its Latin name comes from the Greek and means "bird that watches the leaves" ("Phullon-skopos") due to the time that it spends among them looking for insects. In the nineteenth century it was known in Spanish as "reyezuelo de los sauces" (which stands for "little king of the willows"), which is why its name in English is "Willow Warbler" and why its specific Latin name is "trochilus", which comes from the Greek and means "little king".

Wintering Summer Resident Migration