Garden warbler

©Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Garden warbler

Scientific name: Sylvia borin
A plain-looking warbler, the garden warbler is a summer visitor to the UK. It is a shy bird and is most likely to be heard, rather than seen, in woodland and scrub habitats.

Species information


Length: 14cm
Wingspan: 22cm
Weight: 19g
Average lifespan: 2 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Green under the Birds of Conservation Concern 4: the Red List for Birds (2015).

When to see

April to September


The garden warbler is a medium-sized warbler of woodland and tall scrub -habitats it shares with the similar blackcap. Garden warblers are summer visitors, arriving in April and leaving in July, although Continental birds can be seen on migration around the east and south coasts until September. They eat insects during the breeding season, but fuel-up on berries and fruit during migration. Garden warblers breed in low trees and shrubs, building their nest from grasses and lining it with fur.

How to identify

The garden warbler is a plain, sandy-grey warbler, with a pale grey neck and pale underparts.


A widespread summer visitor.

Did you know?

Garden warblers are shy birds, skulking around in shrubs and bushes. If you can't get a good view, listen out for their song instead - it's similar to the blackcap's, but more mellow and longer.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many woodland nature reserves for the benefit of the wildlife they support. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife news, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and will be helping local wildlife along the way.