basic information

Marsh Warbler

Acrocephalus palustris (Bechstein, 1798)

Болотная камышевка | Саз айқабағы

Krasny Svet. Western Kazakhstan.
© Askar Isabekov


Adult Marsh Warblers in breeding plumage have olive-brownish to olive-grey upperparts. Uppertail is paler than mantle, rusty tinge on rump is lack. Clayey supercilium is barely expressed. Flight and tail feathers are brownish with olive-brown edges of outer webs and grayish tips. Underparts, axillaries and underwing coverts are clayey-grey, throat and middle-belly are whitish. In summer upperparts are grayish-brown without olive tinge, underparts are whiter. In fresh autumn plumage upperparts have rusty-yellowish tones; underparts have more extensive buffy tinge. Upper mandible is brownish, lower mandible is pale, yellowish. Legs are grey, eyes are brown. Juveniles in first autumn plumage are rufous and extremely similar to Eurasian Reed Warbler. In first plumage juveniles are rusty-brownish above and with heavy expressed rusty tinge on underparts. Size: wing 61-68, tail 53-56, tarsus 21-22.5 mm. Weight 11.4-14.2 gr.


Marsh Warbler breeds in northern part of Volga-Ural area, in middle and lower current of Ural valley in south to Chapaevo, on Ilek valley at Karabutak, on Chagan and Utva rivers, also in Kokchetav upland (Borovoye, Kokchetav area) and in Shortandy area. On migration occurs southerly in east up to Tentek delta.


Marsh Warbler is rare or, in places common breeding migrant. It inhabits bush thickets (mostly willow) on shores of rivers and lakes, marshy shores with bushes, reed and sedge, and light forests with bushes and clearings at 500-800 m off water. On migration occurs in reed beds and tall weeds. Appears in May, majority of birds migrate in mid-May. Breeds in separate pairs at 50-200 m apart. Nest is built in bush (dog-rose, blackberry, elm, poplar, blackthorn, buckthorn) or in tall grass (nettle, wormwood, birthwort) at 0.1-1.2 m, usually 30-40 cm above ground, from dry grass and honeysuckle bast and is lined with thin grass and hair. Female builds it mostly, with some help of male, for 3-7 days. Clutches of 3-5 eggs is from end of May till early July. Both parents incubate for 11-14 days, and feed juveniles, which fledge at 10-12 days old, in July, and next 19 days more they fed by parents. One brood, repeated breeding after losing of first nest is common. Autumn migration begins in end July, majority of birds leave in August, latest ones recorded in end September.


"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.


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