basic information

Savi's Warbler

Locustella luscinioides (Savi, 1824)

Соловьиный сверчок | Бұлбұлүн шырылдақ

Almatinskaja obl., Panfilovskij r -n
© Alexandr Belyaev


Males and females of Savi's Warbler in breeding plumage have plain rusty-brownish upperparts (greyish-brownish tinged in fusca subspecies), with some darker flight feathers and tail feathers. Often tail feathers are with observable bars. Pale supercilium is a little bit notable. Underparts are more pale with whitish throat and belly, and with buffy-brownish flanks and breast. Lower tail coverts are pale buffy-whitish pale-tipped, tips are less contract than in River Warbler. Underwings are brownish. In summer old plumage Warbler looks paler. Upper mandible is dark-brownish, low mandible is pale, yellowish, sometimes dark. Legs are brownish, eyes are pale-brownish. Juveniles after first molting upperpart are darker than in adults, breast and flanks are darker and brighter too. From other Grasshopper Warbler it distinguished by loss of streaks, from River Warbler by brown tinge on upperparts and loss of clear steaks on breast (may be unclear spots). From Reed Warblers it distinguished by different length of tail feathers, long feathers of undertail (longer than outer tail feathers) which have rusty-brownish color with unclear pale crescent pattern. Sizes: wing 64-72, tail 51-67, tarsus 19-22 mm. Weight: 13,1-19,8 gr.


Savi's Warber breeds in large part of Kazakhstan to south from upper current of Irgiz and Emba rivers, Naurzum lakes, Kurgaldzhino Reserve and Zaysan depression. In same territory occurs on migration. On Chorpak Pass recorded 26 April 1972, 30 April 1970, 6 September 1969 and 9 October 1973. Four birds recorded in Aksu-Dzhabagly Reserve on Aynakol lake, at 2360 m in mid-June – early July 1998.


Savi's Warbler is common, in places rare breeding migrant. Inhabits boggy places in willow bush thickets, sedge marshes, wet meadows with tall grass and bushes, reed beds. On migration occurs in bushes, reed and reed-mace beds on shore of rivers and lakes and very rare in forest-belts. Arrives in April – early May, last migrants recorded end May. Breeding in separate pairs. Nest is built in reed piles at 2-30 cm above water from dry reed leaves. Clutches of 4-5 eggs in end May – early June. Only female incubates for 12 days, male feeds her. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge at 12-14 days old, in July. Autumn migration in August, latest birds recorded in mid-September – early October.


Locustella luscinioides sarmatica (Kazakov, 1973)

    Description. Upper parts are more olive-brown, under parts darker than in fusca.
    Distribution. Probably, this race breeds and occurs on migration in Western Kazakhstan and northern Caspian Sea.

Locustella luscinioides fusca (Severtzov, 1873)

    Description. Upper parts more olive-grey, less olive-brown, under part lighter than in sarmatica.
    Distribution. Breeds in large part of Kazakhstan to south from upper current of Irgiz and Emba rivers, Naurzum lakes, Kurgaldzhino Reserve and Zaysan depression. In same territory occurs on migration.


"Птицы Казахстана" том 4. Алма-Ата, 1972. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.



Locustella luscinioides sarmatica
(Kazakov, 1973)
Locustella luscinioides fusca
(Severtzov, 1873)

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