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A photo of a Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides)
Savi's Warbler

Savi's Warbler

Locustella luscinioides

The Savi's Warbler, Locustella luscinioides, is a small, unassuming bird with a penchant for the dense reed beds of Europe and the western Palearctic. Its plumage is a subtle blend of grey-brown on the back and whitish grey below, with a distinct lack of throat streaks that sets it apart from its cousin, the River Warbler. Both sexes are identical in appearance, a common trait among warblers, while juveniles exhibit a slightly yellower underside.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the Savi's Warbler, look for its unstreaked grey-brown back and the absence of throat streaks. The bird measures approximately 14 cm in length, with a slender brown beak and brown irises. During the breeding season, its plumage lightens slightly. The legs are a nondescript brown, blending seamlessly with the bird's overall muted tones.


This species thrives in reed beds, often accompanied by bushes, providing it with the perfect environment for concealment and nesting.


The Savi's Warbler breeds across a swath of territory that includes Europe and parts of North Africa, with its migratory patterns taking it to northern and sub-Saharan Africa for the winter months.


Not particularly shy, the Savi's Warbler can nonetheless be a challenge to spot as it flits through the reeds. It is most visible when perched atop reeds while singing, a behavior that is more common during the breeding season.

Song & Calls

The Savi's Warbler's song is a distinctive, monotonous reeling reminiscent of an insect's call, often performed at dusk. It is a mechanical sound, faster and deeper than those of similar species, and bears a striking resemblance to the call of Roesel's bush-cricket.


Breeding season sees the Savi's Warbler laying three to six eggs in a well-concealed nest within the reeds. The female is solely responsible for incubation, which lasts about twelve days, and initially for feeding the hatchlings, with the male contributing as the chicks grow.

Similar Species

The River Warbler is a similar species, but can be distinguished by the presence of throat streaks, which the Savi's Warbler lacks.

Diet and Feeding

An insectivorous bird, the Savi's Warbler feeds on a variety of insects including flies, beetles, moths, and damselflies. It is also believed to consume small worms.

Conservation Status

The IUCN has classified the Savi's Warbler as Least Concern due to its large population and extensive range. Though there may be slight declines in numbers, they are not significant enough to raise conservation concerns at this time.

Savi's Warbler Sounds

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