CETTI’S WARBLER (Cettia cetti)is fairly large but very skulking warbler of dense waterside undergrowth with broad, rounded tail and often slightly ‘untidy’ appearance. The unstreamed dark reddish-brown above, with pale greyish-washed sides of head and breast contrasting somewhat with more rufous flanks and under tail coverts and fairly weak greyish-white supercilium.
This old-world warbler is 13 to 14cm bill to tail with an average weight is 14 to 15g. The strong legs are reddish-brown. Compared with unstreaked Acrocephalus warblers are relatively chunkier, with greyer-toned underparts and strongly rufous-toned, darker brown upperparts, more rounded head and smaller and weaker bill.
However, the tail is broader and more rounded and is frequently cocked. In good view, under tail coverts can be seen to be short and broad, with weak pale scalloping (in Acrocephalus they are rather longer, narrower and more uniform).
Savi’s Warbler has similar skulking behavior and similar calls (but not song) but has a longer, fuller tail with longer, broader under tail coverts, flat or peaked crown shape, stronger bill, buffer-toned underparts, and paler legs. Presence almost invariably revealed by loud, distinctive, explosive bursts of the song (given virtually throughout the year). Hops in wren-like fashion, flicking wings and rounded tail, through tangled undergrowth.
Cetti’s Warbler Song
Cetti’s Warbler Song includes an abrupt, sharp ‘chip’ or ‘chich’, a loud, sharp ‘tsuk’ (recalling mobbing call of Common Blackbird). And a prolonged rattle (recalling Winter Wren, but higher and more metallic) when intensely alarmed.
The song unmistakable and an astonishingly loud, explosive, liquid, staccato series of notes which might be rendered as ‘PWIT-piti-chewit-chewitchewit’ or ‘CHIP-pip-chetchetchetchet’.
The Song is given virtually throughout the year; appears to double as a contact-alarm call. It is usually singing from the inside cover but often climbs into view when singing near top of the thicket. Quite inquisitive but nervous: often goaded into vocal activity by a sudden noise.
Race orientalis of C Turkey and Transcaucasia southwards and eastwards is slightly greyer above and whiter on the breast than in nominate race.
Status and Habitat
Locally common. Has spread northwards in recent decades to colonize S Britain and Belgium. (In addition to mapped range, has bred Switzerland, Netherlands, Germany.)
Tangled thickets by lakes, marshes, rivers, streams, and ditches; also patches of willows or brambles among reedbeds. This is a small old-world warbler, breeds in Europe, Africa, and Asia.
The Cetti’s Warbler prefers damp areas like lakes, ponds, rivers, and marshes. This is an insectivorous bird, so like to eat soft-bodied insects and larvae, because they can digest them very quickly.
Moreover, the complete post-breeding moult, usually finished early September. But partial post-juvenile moult including body feathers, lesser and median coverts, inner greater coverts and some tertial.
Also, some specimens can moult all the greater coverts and a variable number of flight feathers. But the primary coverts are always retained; usually finished in September. Some specimens have a pre-breeding moulting wing coverts and some tertial.
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Originally posted 2019-12-17 20:41:57.