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Common Whitethroat | Sylvia communis

The Common Whitethroat is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Sylviidae bird family group which includes birds such as Leaf-Warblers, Babblers, Warblers.

The description for the Common Whitethroat (Latin name Sylvia communis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Sylvia communis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 620 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 819. You will find a picture of the Common Whitethroat on page 593.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Whitethroat in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Common Whitethroat between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Common Whitethroat has a height of 14 cms and weighs around 15 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Sylvia communis has a white coloured throat, pink legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Sylvia communis has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are pink

Throat is white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Common Whitethroat is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

The Sylvia communis forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Common Whitethroat is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Common Whitethroat is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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