[order] Passeriformes | [family] Sylviidae | [latin] Hippolais caligata | [UK] Booted Warbler | [FR] Hypolaïs russe | [DE] Buschspötter | [ES] Zarcero escita | [IT] Canapino asiatico | [NL] Kleine Spotvogel

Kleine Spotvogel determination

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Western race, nominate, noticeably smaller than eastern Olivaceous Warbler, with shorter bill, more domed head, and shorter wings and tail. Eastern race rama slightly smaller than Olivaceous Warbler but with all measurements overlapping, also close in size to Bonelli's Warbler but with longer bill, slightly shorter wings, and longer legs.

Breeds mainly in middle latitudes of central Paleatctic, extending within west Palearctic to lower boreal zone and extralimitally in Asia into subtropics, but predominantly in warm continental, temperate, and steppe zones. Inhabits lowlands up to 500m often preferring vicinity of water, whereas southern rama tends to inhabit arid or even semi-desert country. Ranging from rich shrubbery and grasses on plains, along lower parts of rivers and dense reedbeds, to orchards, riverside plantations, vegetable gardens, trees, copses, forests, and clumps of herbage or shrubs in semi-desert.

Hippolais caligata is a summer visitor to central and eastern Russia, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is relatively small (<80,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Trend data were not available for the Russian population during 1990-2000 (although the population in Finland increased), but there was no evidence to suggest that its status deteriorated significantly.

Chiefly insects. Forages very actively at various levels-in tree canopy, in bushes, among undergrowth, and on ground.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 60,000-160,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Breeds late May to early July in USSR. Nest site located at ground level up to 2 m, in tall herbs or low shrubs. Nest is a strong cup of twigs, roots, stems, and leaves, lined with finer material inclding feathers, hair, and plant down. 4-6 eggs are laid, incubation 12-14 days by both parents.

Migratory, all populations moving south or south-east (initially south-west from east of range) to winter chiefly in India. Autumn migration chiefly August-September. In north-west of range (Moscow region), departures and passage during August; further east, breeding grounds in Urals deserted by mid-August. Spring migration chiefly April-May. In Volga-Kama region, vanguard from early May, main arrival 2nd half of May, and reaches Moscow region from mid-May. Records of vagrancy in Finland (and 1 in Estonia) are late May to July, suggesting overshooting, but elsewhere in northern Europe recorded almost entirely in autumn, probably reverse migration.