[order] Passeriformes | [family] Sylviidae | [latin] Acrocephalus schoenobaenus | [UK] Sedge Warbler | [FR] Phragmite des joncs | [DE] Schilfrohrsänger | [ES] Carricerín Común | [IT] Forapaglie | [NL] Rietzanger

Rietzanger determination

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Close in measurements to Willow Warbler but noticeably bulkier, with longer bill and broader rump and tail. Rather small, quite robust warbler, epitome of streaked Acrocephalus . Well-marked above, with striking cream supercklium offset by dark crown, and tawny rump glowing between dull olive-brown, rather softly streaked back and brown tail, Sexes simeilar, no seasonal variation.

In contrast to other Acrocephalus, extends from high arctic down to mid-latitudes, from boreal through temperate but only marginally to Mediterranean zone, ranging east not far beyond west Palearctic. Accordingly adapted to cool, often cloudy and moist climates. Breeds in wide variety of low dense vegetation or in moist depressions. Attracted to clay and gravel pits. Less closely linked to lake sides, river banks, and wetlands than most congeners, and usually avoids wetter reedbeds in standing water.

Acrocephalus schoenobaenus is a widespread summer visitor to much of Europe, which constitutes >50% of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is very large (>4,400,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although there were declines in certain countries—most notably Finland—during 1990-2000, key populations to the east in Russia, Romania and Belarus were stable, and the species remained stable overall.

Chiefly insects, also some plant material outside breeding season. Feeds predominantly low down in dense vegetation, notably reeds and rushes, also in cereal fields and periphery of bushes.

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 8,800,000-15,000,000 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 mid April to mid July in Britain and North-West Europe, June in Finland. Nest site is built in variety of tall vegetation or low bushes. On ground or up to 50 cm above. Nest, deep cup, rounded to cylindrical, with loosely woven outer structure of grass, plant stems and leaves, moss, and sedges, often with spiders' webs, with thick inner layer of finer leaves and stems, lined with reed flowers, hair, and plant down. 5-6 eggs are laid, incubation 13-15 days, by female only, or with limited help from male.

Common and widespread summer migrant of Eurasia, from British Isles east across Scandinavia, northern Russia and western Siberia to western China, south through France and much of northern Mediterranean coastline to central Turkey, Caucasus, northern Iran, and southern Russia to Northwest China. Winters in subtropical to tropical zones, from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south through much of Africa to Cape Province. (Baker K 1997) Summer visitor throughout much of Europe (except south) including UK and Eire, European USSR, Transcaucasus, locally Turkey; winters tropical Africa. Recorded in winter Jordan. Migrant Portugal, Spain, Balearic Is., Malta, Cyprus, Near East, north Africa. Vagrant Iceland, Faroe Is., Svalbard, Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Madeira. (Parmenter T Byers C 1991)