Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)

Sedge Warbler

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Acrocephalidae | [latin] Acrocephalus schoenobaenus | [UK] Sedge Warbler | [FR] | [DE] Schilf-Rohrsanger | [ES] Carricerin Comun | [NL] Rietzanger


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

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.

Listen to the sound of Sedge Warbler

[audio: Warbler.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 16 cm wingspan max.: 20 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 15 days fledging max.: 13 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 4  
      eggs max.: 7  


Eurasia : Central, West


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.


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.

Feeding habits

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 an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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.
Sedge Warbler status Least Concern


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)

Distribution map

Sedge Warbler distribution range map

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