Feeding Garden Birds in Autumn

Dunnock (Prunella Modularis)

Blackcap (Sylvia Atricapilla)

January 23, 2021

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.


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 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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