Sedge warbler

©Dawn Monrose

Sedge warbler

Scientific name: Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
In summer, the sedge warbler can be spotted singing from a reed or willow perch in wetlands across the UK. Males never sing the same song twice, adding new phrases to impress the females.

Species information


Length: 13cm
Wingspan: 19cm
Weight: 12g
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 October


The sedge warbler is a medium-sized warbler of marshes, reedbeds and wetlands that can be spotted singing from perches on reeds and willow bushes. A great mimic, the male sedge warbler introduces random phrases into its repertoire, never singing the same song twice; he attracts more mates the more phrases his song has. Sedge warblers are summer visitors to the UK, breeding in wetland habitats from April onwards.

How to identify

Sedge warblers are sandy brown. They are paler underneath and streaky above, with a dark, streaked cap. They have a distinctive white eyestripe.


A widespread summer visitor.

Did you know?

The closely related and similar-looking Aquatic Warbler breeds in bogs and marshes in Poland and Russia, and passes through southern UK in the autumn on its way to West Africa.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many wetland 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.