Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla


A distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name 'Northern Nightingale'. Although primarily a summer visitor, birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.

Identification difficulty

Best looked for in woodland, parks and gardens with plenty of trees and shrubs. Those staying over winter will readily come into gardens.

When to see it

Breeding birds arrive in April and May, leaving in September and October. Some European birds winter in the UK, largely in England.

Life History

The summer population feeds on caterpillars and small insects which they searches for through the leaves of trees and bushes. However the winter population feed on seeds and fruits as well.

UK Status

Common in Britain in summer

VC55 Status

Common in summer

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map