Garden Warbler

Garden Warbler

Key facts

Scientific name: Sylvia borin
Status: Breeding summer visitor

Breeding pairs: 170,000 territories

Conservation status: Green
Length: Length: 14 cm
Wingspan: Wingspan: 20 – 25 cm
Weight: Weight: 16 – 22 g


Garden warblers are plump birds with a round heads. They are grey-brown with olive upperparts and grey neck. The underparts are pale buff. They have dark brown eyes and a white eye-ring.

Garden warblers have short bills with square ends and a pale base and grey-brown legs and feet. Adult males and females look alike.

Juveniles are similar to adults although their plumage is more olive coloured.


Female garden warblers build a cup-shaped nest from grass, leaves and roots which is lined with finer grasses and hairs. It is usually constructed low down in a small tree or bush.

Garden warblers lay 4-5 whitish eggs with olive-brown marks. Both adults incubate the eggs for 11-13 days and the young are fed by both parents. Chicks leave the nest 10 days after hatching and they are independent within another 2 weeks.

Garden warblers’ nests are sometimes parasitized by cuckoos.


Garden warbles feed on caterpillars, flies, spiders and worms during breeding season as well as fruits and berries during the autumn and winter.

Garden Warbler

Where to see them

Despite its name, garden warblers are not often seen in gardens. They arrive in the UK in late April or May and leave in mid-July. They can be found in and near woodland across England, Wales and southern Scotland.


Tero Linjama/xeno-canto

Did you know?

Garden warblers have a similar song to blackcaps. In fact the song is so similar that they will respect each other’s territorial boundaries.

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