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Jun 08 2011

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Great Reed-Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus)


Great Reed-Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Acrocephalidae | [latin] Acrocephalus arundinaceus | [UK] Great Reed-Warbler | [FR] Rousserole turdoide | [DE] Drossel-Rohrsanger | [ES] Carricerin Tordal | [NL] Grote Karekiet

Subspecies

Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range

Physical charateristics

Large and long strong-billed warbler with nondescript plumage typical of unstreaked Acrocephalus but at times bold behaviour.
European and Mediterranean race, nominate, upperparts generally warm olive-brown, with crown slightly darker than mantle, rump and upper tail-coverts fawnier than back, and wing-coverts and inner flight-feathers slightly edged rufous. Face pattern with cream to buff supercilium from just behind bill to no more than half-way along ear-coverts, dusky eye-stripe, and brown lore and ear-coverts.
Birds thus has strong, even stern expression. sexes rather similar, slight seasonal variation.

Listen to the sound of Great Reed-Warbler

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wingspan min.: 25 cm wingspan max.: 29 cm
size min.: 19 cm size max.: 20 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 15 days
fledging min.: 12 days fledging max.: 15 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  

Range

Eurasia : West, Central

Habitat

Breeds in middle latitudes of west Palearctic, in both cool and warm and arid and moist climates, mainly in temperate, steppe, and Mediterranean zones. In west, occurs mainly in lowland, even in some zones in Switzerland and USSR on mountain lakes up to 2000 m.
Mostly concentrated in aquatic vegetation emerging from shallow standing water, fresh or brackish, especially in strong, tall, and dense reeds fringing banks or swamps, or islanded above the shallow bottoms of lakes or sluggish rivers.

Reproduction

Breeds mid March to mid June central and western Europe, early May in southern Europe. Nest site is dense stands of mostly reed in water. Preference for areas with thick reed stems. Nest attached to several stems. 3-6 eggs are laid, incubation 13-15 days, by female only.

Feeding habits

Mainly insects, with some spiders, snails, and small vertebrates, some fruits and berries outside breeding season. Feeding techniques not as well studied as in other Acrocephalus. Composition of diet and visual observations suggest that most prey caught in short leaps as bird moves through vegetation, searching leaves and stems carefully. Mobile, flying prey caught by usinglong jumps or leaps, or flycatching techniques, akin to leap-catching and fly-catching.

Conservation

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Acrocephalus arundinaceus is a widespread summer visitor to much of Europe, which
accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. Its European breeding
population is very large (>1,500,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990.
Although the species declined in various countries during 1990-2000, trends in the
east of its European range?including key populations in Russia, Ukraine and
Romania?were stable, and the species probably declined only slightly overall.
Large and long strong-billed warbler with nondescript plumage typical of unstreaked Acrocephalus but at times bold behaviour.
European and Mediterranean race, nominate, upperparts generally warm olive-brown, with crown slightly darker than mantle, rump and upper tail-coverts fawnier than back, and wing-coverts and inner flight-feathers slightly edged rufous. Face pattern with cream to buff supercilium from just behind bill to no more than half-way along ear-coverts, dusky eye-stripe, and brown lore and ear-coverts.
Birds thus has strong, even stern expression. sexes rather similar, slight seasonal variation.
Great Reed-Warbler status Least Concern

Migration

Locally common and widespread summer migrant of Eurasia, from continental Europe and southern Sweden across central Russia to western Siberia and western China, south through Mediterranean region and east to Turkey, Israel, Iran and Caucasus, mostly in lowlands but to 2000 m in Asian mountains. Winters in subtropical zones of Africa, south of the Sahara. (Baker K 1997)
A.a. orientalis: Vagrant Austria (1; record considered questionable). Breeds Siberia, Soviet Far East, north Mongolia, north-eastern China, Korea, Japan; winters South-East Asia, Philippines, Indonesia. A.a. griseldis: Summer visitor lower Iraq; winters east tropical Africa. Scarce migrant Kuwait. Vagrant Germany. A.a. arundinaceus: Summer visitor throughout much of Europe (absent northern regions, UK Eire), European USSR, locally Turkey and Near East (may no longer breed Israel), north-west Africa; winters tropical Africa. Migrant Malta, Cyprus, Kuwait, north Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya. Vagrant Iceland, Faroe Is., Madeira, Azores. A. a. zarydnyi: Summer visitor north Iraq; winters tropical Africa. (Parmenter T Byers C 1991)

Distribution map

Great Reed-Warbler distribution range map

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