[order] Passeriformes | [family] Sylviidae | [latin] Acrocephalus melanopogon | [UK] Moustached Warbler | [FR] Lusciniole à moustaches | [DE] Mariskensänger | [ES] Carricerín real | [IT] Forapaglie castagnolo | [NL] Zwartkoprietzanger

Zwartkoprietzanger determination

No film available

Small, neat, perky warbler, sometimes looking long-legged, with plumage resembling Sedge Warbler but with head patterned even more strongly and upperpars and flanks darker. Strong head and face pattern, with broad black crown, square-ended white supercilium, dusky eye-stripe, and dark-rimmed cheeks, reminiscent of Firecrest from side, Hindneck and rump almost concolors with mantle and tail. Sexes similar, no seasonal variation.

In west Palearctic, largely a southerly resident counterpart to the more northerly migratory Sedge Warbler in warmer temperate lower mid latitudes, and in Mediterranean and steppe zone. Unlike most congeners no confined to lowlands, ascending in Caucasus to 2000 m.

Acrocephalus melanopogon is a widespread but patchily distributed breeder in southern and eastern Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is large (>150,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although the trend in its Russian stronghold during 1990-2000 was unknown, populations were stable across most of the rest of its European range— including the sizeable one in Romania—and the species remained stable overall.
This warbler inhabits only old inundated reed beds and has a discontinuous distribution in southern Europe, north-western Africa and south-western Asia, from the Black Sea to Lake Balkash. It winters in northern Africa, reaching Chad and Sudan in the south. The population of the European Union is estimated at 25000-45000 breeding pairs, Russia not included. Most of its populations seem stable, except in Italy where some decline has been noticed

Almost exclusively arthropods, especially small beetles, but water snails regularly taken. Food obtained by picking and probing from vegetation at or near water surface, also especially when collecting items for nestlings, from water, only to lesser extent taken in the air.

The species is threatened due to loss of wetlands through tourism development and hydrological works as well as the use of insecticides, especially those for mosquitos. This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km2. It has a large global population, including an estimated 300,000-590,000 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]

Egg laying from Mid April to mid June in South Europe. Nest site built over water, usually 30-60 cm above surface, in dense stands of reed, reedmace, rush, and low shrubs. Nest is a deep untidy cup of loosely woven leaves and stems of aquatic plants, with denser inner lining of flowers of reed and some feathers. 3-5 eggs are laid, incubation 14-15 days, by both sexes.

Locally common resident or summer migrant of Mediterranean coastline of Spain, France, Italy and Tunisia, east through to Kazakhstan. Migratory northern populations winter in warm temperate zones within and south of breeding range. (Baker K 1997) A.m. melanopogon: Local resident and summer visitor east Spain, Mallorca, south France, Corsica, Italy, west Switzerland, Southeast Europe, south European USSR, west Turkey, Morocco; winters Sardinia, Sicily, Malta, Cyprus, Tunisia (formerly bred), Morocco. Scarce winter visitor Algeria. Vagrant UK (5; had bred), Channel Is. (1), Portugal, Gibraltar (2), Denmark, Germany (has bred), Poland (1). Local summer visitor (and resident?) south European USSR. A.m. mimica: Local resident and summer visitor east Transcaucasus, Caspian shore, east Turkey, south-west Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel (occasional); winters Middle East east to north-west Indian sub-continent. Scarce winter visitor/migrant (sub-species unknown) Iraq, Kuwait, north Saudi Arabia, Egypt. Vagrant (sub-species unknown) Libya. Tends to be more sedentary in south of range. (Parmenter T Byers C 1991)