Aquatic Warbler

Aquatic Warbler

Taxobox


image_width = 200px
name = Aquatic Warbler
status = VU
status_system = iucn3.1
trend=down
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Passeriformes
familia = Sylviidae
genus = "Acrocephalus"
species = "A. paludicola"
binomial = "Acrocephalus paludicola"
binomial_authority = (Vieillot, 1817)

The Aquatic Warbler, "Acrocephalus paludicola", is an Old World warbler in the genus "Acrocephalus". It breeds in temperate eastern Europe and western Asia, with an estimated population of 15,000 pairs. It is migratory, wintering in west Africa. After many years of uncertainty, the wintering grounds of much of the European population were finally discovered in Djoudj National Bird Sanctuary, Senegal , with between 5-10,000 birds present at this single site [http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2007/02/aquatic_warbler_senegal.html] . Its south-westerly migration route means that it is regular on passage as far west as Great Britain.

This small passerine bird is a species found in wet sedge beds with vegetation shorter than nowrap|30 cm. Drainage has meant that this species has declined, and its stronghold is now the Polesie region of south Belarus, where 70% of the world's population breeds. 3-5 eggs are laid in a nest in low vegetation. This species is highly promiscuous, with most males and females having offspring with multiple partners (Leisler & Wink 2000).

This is a medium-sized warbler. The adult has a heavily streaked brown back and pale underparts with variable streaking. The forehead is flattened, there is a prominent whitish supercilium and crown stripe and the bill is strong and pointed.

It can be confused with juvenile Sedge Warbler, which may show a crown stripe, but the marking is stronger in this species, which appears paler and spiky-tailed in flight. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are unstreaked on the breast below. Like most warblers, it is insectivorous, but will take other small food items including berries.

The song is a fast, chattering "ja-ja-ja" punctuated with typically acrocephaline whistles.

References

* Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is vulnerable

* Leisler, B. & Wink, Michael (2000): Frequencies of multiple paternity in three "Acrocephalus" species (Aves: Sylviidae) with different mating systems ("A. palustris, A. arundinaceus, A. paludicola"). "Ethology, Ecology & Evolution" 12: 237-249. [http://www.uni-heidelberg.de/institute/fak14/ipmb/phazb/pubwink/2000/14.%202000.pdf PDF fulltext]

External links

*ARKive - [http://www.arkive.org/species/ARK/birds/Acrocephalus_paludicola/ images and movies of the aquatic warbler "(Acrocephalus paludicola)"]
* [http://www.wodniczka.pl/en Conserving Aquatic Warbler in Poland and Germany an EU LIFE NATURE project]


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