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Species Guide

Hume's Whitethroat

Curruca althaea

The lesser whitethroat, Curruca curruca, is a small, unassuming passerine bird, a member of the typical warbler family. It presents a modest plumage with a grey back, whitish underparts, and a grey head adorned with a distinctive darker "bandit mask" through the eyes. Its throat is a clean white, and it is slightly smaller than its relative, the common whitethroat.

Identification Tips

When attempting to identify the lesser whitethroat, look for its grey back and head, the stark white throat, and the contrasting dark eye mask. Unlike the common whitethroat, it does not have chestnut wings or a uniform head-face color.


This bird favors fairly open country and cultivated areas, with a preference for large bushes suitable for nesting and the presence of some trees.


The lesser whitethroat breeds across temperate Europe, with the exception of the southwest, and extends into the western and central Palearctic. It is a strong migrant, wintering in Africa just south of the Sahara, as well as in Arabia and India.


The lesser whitethroat is known for its strong migratory patterns. It builds its nest in low shrub or brambles, where it lays 3 to 7 eggs.

Song & Calls

The song of the lesser whitethroat is a fast, rattling sequence of "tet" or "che" calls, which is quite distinct from the common whitethroat's scolding song.

Diet and Feeding

Primarily insectivorous, the lesser whitethroat also supplements its diet with berries and other soft fruits.

Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List has classified the lesser whitethroat as Least Concern, indicating that it currently faces no significant threat to its survival.

Similar Species

The lesser whitethroat can be confused with the common whitethroat, but the latter has chestnut wings and lacks the grey head with the dark eye mask.

Hume's Whitethroat Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Hume's Whitethroats on Birda


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Eastern Subalpine Warbler

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