Wood warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix

The wood warbler is a small bird of oak woodland found in the north and west of the UK, particularly upland areas. They are green above and bright white below, with a yellow throat and yellow eyebrow stripe. Larger than the similar willow warbler and chiffchaff.


Wood warblers sing from high-up in the canopy, but build their nests in low scrub or even on the ground in hollows. Like other warblers, they are insectivorous. Their diet is made up of insects, flies and spiders which they pick off nearby vegetation.


Wood warblers are migratory and typically overwinter in Africa, arriving back in the UK around April in time for their breeding season to being in May.


  • Length: 12-13cm
  • Wingspan: 22cm
  • Weight: 10g


Classified in the UK as a Red List species under the Birds of Conservation Concern review and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.


A summer visitor to northern and western Britain.

When to see

April – August


  • The wood warbler is one of a group of summer visitors; together with pied flycatcher and redstart, they are characteristic of sessile oak woodland in the west of Britain.

Common name

Wood warbler

Species name

Phylloscopus sibilatrix

IUCN Red List status

Least concern

When to see in Scotland

April – August

Where to see in Scotland

Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves such as Knapdale Forest or Falls of Clyde.

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top