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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)

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Clickhere for the bird's sound.

There is nothing to easily identify a Chiffchaff by, except for its monotonous song.

This is just one of the many small greyish birds that frequent the garden, especially in summer. They all look very much the same, are rather shy and I doubt wether there are a lot of people that can tell them apart by looking at them, I know that I can't. They belong to the rather large family of warblers.Especially this bird and the Willow Warbler look identical. You can tell them apart though by their sound. The Willow Warbler sings beautifully, while the Chiffchaff does sing, but the song consists of a series of chiffs and chaffs, hence the name in English, Dutch and German. Most of the warblers are summerbirds, which means they leave for winter, and because of their greyish colours they are almost invisible. When you have a pond in your garden you're lucky, because it is one of the few ways to see these birds.

This bird belongs to the family of Warblers (Parulinae). It is common in our garden and can be seen in Holland march - september. The bird is 4" and weighs 9 grams. It lives in woodlands, parks and gardens mostly. It eats insects en spiders. The sexes do not differ from one another. The usually two nests are made in bushes between april and june. The birds breed their five to six eggs for some 14 days. After that the hatchling will be fed for 13 more days, before they can fly and leave the nest.

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Name of this bird in various other languages
Dutch German French Polish Scientific
Tjiftjaf Zilpzalp Pouillot véloce Pierwiosnek Phylloscopus collybita


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