109. BARKED WARBLER.
Sylvia nisoria (Bechst.) Gemeinn. Naturg. Deutschl. iv. p. 580, pl. xvii. (1795) ; Naumann, ii. p. 430 Taf. 70, figs. 1, 2 ; Gould, B. of Eur. ii. p. 128 ; Dresser, ii. p. 435, pl. 68 ; Seebohm. Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 6 ; Saunders, p. 51 ; Lilford, iii. p. 60, pl. 30.
Fauvette eperviere, French ; Bigia striata, Ital. ; Sperber-grasmucke, German ; Brystvatret-Sanger, Dan. ; Brostvattrad-sangare, Swed. ; Podoreschnik, Russ. ; Kirjarinta-kerttu, Finn.
Male ad. (Sweden). Upper parts dark ashy grey with a brownish tinge on the back ; the lower back, rump, upper tail-coverts, and some of the scapulars barred with blackish grey and tipped with white ; quills dark brown ; tail dark ashy, the outer feather bordered externally with white, the rest except the central ones similarly bordered on the inner web ; sides of neck and head and greyish, the rest of the under parts white, all barred with dark ashy grey crescentic bands ; flanks Washed with grey ; bill dark horn, yellowish at base of lower mandible ; legs dull yellowish flesh ; iris pole yellow. Culmen 0.65, wing 3.5, tail 2.95, tarsus 1.0 inch. The female resembles the male, but is browner and less barred on the under parts. The young are unbarred, sandy grey above and white below, on the breast and flanks washed with sandy buff ; wings and tail browner, the secondaries and wing-coverts edged and tipped with dull whitey brown.
Hab. Europe ; from southern Sweden east to the Ural and south to the Rhine ; Turkestan, the Altai range, Persia, and the Caucasus, and winters south of Nubia, probably in Central Africa ; has frequently occurred as far west as Great Britain and Ireland.
In general habits it resembles the Garden Warbler, frequents groves and gardens, not the true forest. It is very shy and retiring and is constantly in motion. Its song is loud, clear, and melodious, beginning and ending with a chattering call, and its call-note is harsh. It breeds in May, placing its nest on a bush or tree. The nest is cup-shaped, neatly constructed of dry grasses or plants, intermixed with spiders’ webs and lined with horsehair. The eggs, 4 to 6 in number, are pale creamy grey with scarcely visible grey marblings, or creamy grey with indistinct pale purplish grey or pale brown markings, and in size vary from 0.85 by 0.61 to 0.86 by 0.65. It feeds chiefly on insects but also to some extent on fruit and berries.
109. Sylvia nisoria
109. BARKED WARBLER.