garden warbler defined in 1930 yeargarden warbler - Garden Warbler;
garden warbler - Upper plumage greyish brown tinged with olive; below the ear a patch of ash-grey; throat dull white; breast and flanks grey tinged with rust colour; rest of under parts dull white. Length, five and a quarter inches.
This warbler was first described as a British species by Willughby, more than two centuries ago, under the name of ' prettichaps '; and Professor Newton, in a note to Yarrell's account of it, says: ' This name (prettichaps) seems never to have been in general use in England, or it would be readily adopted here.' The old name of prettichaps, it may be mentioned, does not appear to be quite obsolete yet: I have heard it in Berkshire, where it was applied indiscriminately to the garden warbler and blackcap.
The garden warbler is not common anywhere. In Ireland it is scarcely known; in Scotland, Wales, and a large part of England it is very rare. It is most frequently to be met with in the southern counties, especially in Hampshire. Very curiously, Gilbert White did not know this warbler, which may now be heard singing turf day in spring in the neighbourhood of Selborne village.
The garden warbler is often said to rank next to the blackcap as a melodist. The songs of these two species have a great resemblance; it is, indeed, rare to find two songsters, however closely allied, so much alike in their language. The garden warbler's song is like an imitation of the blackcap's, but is not so powerful and brilliant: some of its notes possess the same bright, pure, musical quality, but they are hurriedly delivered, shorter, more broken up, as it were. On the other hand, to compensate for its inferior character, there is more of it; the bird, sitting concealed among the clustering leaves, will sing by the hour, his rapid, warbled strain sometimes lasting for several minutes without a break.
The garden warbler is a late bird, seldom arriving in this country before the end of April. It builds a rather slight nest, in a bush near the ground, of dry grass and moss, lined with hair and fibrous roots. The eggs are five in number, and are dull white, sometimes greenish white, blotched and speckled with dull brown and grey.
The food of this warbler consists of small insects; and it is also fond of fruit and berries.
Six species of the genus Sylvia are included in books on British birds: the four already described, the orphean warbler (Sylvia orphea), an accidental visitor from Central and Southern Europe, and the barred warbler (Sylvia nisoria), from Central, South, and East Europe.
near garden warbler in Knolik
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