Sunday, 4 March 2012


Luscinia svecica

Photo by Pawel Waclawik (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
bluethroat (en); pisco-de-peito-azul (pt); gorgebleue à miroir (fr); pechiazul (es); blaukehlchen (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

These birds are found breeding from northern Europe, across Russia, south to the Himalayas and there is also a population in western Alaska. They winter in southern Europe, the Middle East and southern Asia.

They are 13-15 cm long and weigh 12-25 g.

The bluethroat is found breeding in low thickets of willow, alder and birch, in uplands and foothills, as well as floodplains, riverbanks and lake shores. They winter mostly winter in both freshwater mashes and saltmarshes.

They mostly glean invertebrates from the vegetation, taking flies, ants, beetles and spiders, but will sometimes also eat earthworms, shrimps, small snails and small frogs, and in the winter they often eat seeds and fruits.

Bluethroats breed in April-July. The female builds the nest, a shallow cup made of leaves, small twigs, rootlets, grasses, plant down and moss, and lined with hairs from animals. The nest is hidden in dense vegetation. The female lays 4-7 blue or bluish-green eggs with reddish speckles, which the female incubates alone for 13-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-14 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has an extremely large breeding range and the global population is estimated at 30-100 million individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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