Phylloscopus collybita (Vieill.), Nouv. Dict. xi. p. 235 (1817) ; Newton, i. p. 437 ; Dresser, ii. p. 485, pls. 75, fig. 1, 76. fig. 1 ; Phyll. rufus, (Beehst.), Orn. Taschenb. i. p. 188 (nec. Bodd.) ; (Hewitson), i. p. 139, pl. 36, fig. 4 ; (Naum.), iii. p. 581. Taf. 80, fig. 4 ; (Gould), B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 66 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Brit. Mus. v. p. 60 ; Saunders, p. 67 ; P. minor, Lilford, iii. p. 68, pl. 34.
Beefin veloce, French ; Lui-piccolo, Ital. ; Almendrita, Span. ; Weiden-Laubvogel, German ; Tjif-tjaf, Dutch ; Gran-sanger Dan. and Norweg. ; Gransangare, Swed. ; Tynnerilintu, Finn. ; Kusnetschik, Penotschkamalaya, Russ.
Male ad. (Asia Minor). In general colouration of plumage resembling Ph. trochilus but duller, the second primary is equal to the 7th, and the quills externally marginate to the 6th inclusive, the third and fourth quills longest ; legs dark brown much darker than in Ph. trochilus.
Hab. Europe from the Ganaries where it is resident, to the valley of the Volga, north to within the Arctic circle ; winters in southern Europe, Asia Minor. Persia, and North Africa, as far south as Abyssinia.
In general habits it resembles the Willow-Wren but its movements are quicker and its flight rather swifter. It affects woods and groves both deciduous and conifer, and feeds on insects which it picks off the foliage and sometimes from off the ground, or will catch gnats or flies on the wing. It has been known to feed on small berries. Its alarm note resembles that of the Willow-Wren. but is slightly shriller and not so loud, and its song resembles the syllables chiff-chaff, chiffy-chaffy, or cheep-cheep cheep-cheep. Its nest is placed on the ground or but rarely a little above it, and is semi-domed, constructed of grass-bents, dry leaves, and moss and lined with plant-cotton hair and a profusion of feathers, and its eggs, 5 to 6 in number, are deposited late in May or in June, and are white, spotted and dotted with purplish red, and occasionally marked with a few violet-gray shell spots, and measure about 0.52 by 0.42 inch. In south-eastern Europe a small form (Ph. brehmi Homeyer) occurs, differing only in being somewhat smaller in size.
139. Phylloscopus collybita