Cetti's warbler

©Amy Lewis

Cetti's warbler

Scientific name: Cettia cetti
A dark, stocky warbler, the Cetti's warbler is most likely to be heard, rather than seen - listen out for its bubbling song among willow, marsh and nettles.

Species information


Length: 14cm
Wingspan: 17cm
Weight: 12-15g
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). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When to see

January to December


Named after 18th century zoologist, Francesco Cetti, the Cetti's warbler is a medium-sized warbler of willow scrub, marshes and nettlebeds. It can be very difficult to spot, but you may well hear it singing loudly from the cover of dense bushes. Resident all year-round, in summer, male Cetti's warblers spend their time defending territories, while the females lay their bright red eggs and raise their chicks.

How to identify

Cetti's warblers are rich chestnut-brown above and grey below, with a pale throat. They have a long, often cocked, tail. Best recognised by their fruity, bubbling song.


Resident in Southern England and South Wales.

Did you know?

Recent colonisers of the UK, Cetti's warblers were first recorded in this country in 1961, and first bred here in 1973.

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.