Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)

The Sound of a Blackcap

Blackcap Facts

  • Scientific name: Sylvia atricapilla

  • Family: Warblers and allies (Sylviidae)

  • Wingspan: 22cm

  • Diet: Insects and berries

  • Feed with: insects, suet

  • Habitat: Can be seen in woodland and park areas, with dense trees and shrubbery

  • Lifespan: 2 Years

  • Blackcap Characteristics

    Male blackcaps have a distinctive black cap, from which the name is derived; females feature a chestnut brown cap. Their unique and sweet song is pleasing to hear, with a 'tack, tack' sound, and can be heard from early spring, although blackcaps are becoming more frequent winter visitors.

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    Conservation Status of the Blackcap

    The blackcap is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List



    The Blackcap is classified as Least Concern

    Blackcap Territoriality

    Blackcaps are mainly resident over the summer months. The British variety migrate to warmer climates around the Mediterranean, while those from north and central Europe are more frequently visiting the UK over winter. The greater abundance of blackcaps over winter can be attributed to an uptake in the use of garden bird feeders and well as milder winters in the UK.

    Blackcap Audio

    Blackcap Breeding & Nesting

    The blackcap nest is built by the female and is a neat little cup made from various bits of vegetation and mud. Blackcap nests can usually be located in hedges, brambles and such dense shrubbery. Blackcap eggsare around 20mm, are smooth and glossy with dark markings.

    Both male and female blackcaps help feed the young during the fledgling season. Their diet consists mainly of insects such as caterpillars, flies and spiders. Over winter, blackcaps can be seen feeding on fruit such as berries.

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