Lesser Whitethroat

Sylvia curruca


The Lesser Whitethroat is a medium-sized warbler of dense scrub and woodland edges. A summer visitor, it arrives in April and begins in sing immediately; a secretive bird, it is actually best located by its rattling, monotonous song. Lesser Whitethroats winter in Africa, leaving our shores in September and heading east around the Mediterranean, rather than through Gibraltar like most migrating birds from the UK.

How to identify

Male and female Whitethroats are very similar, being greyish-brown above and creamy-grey below, with a grey head and darker grey mask, white throat and white chest. The Lesser Whitethroat can be distinguished from the larger Whitethroat by its darker face mask, plain grey-brown wing feathers, whiter chest and shorter tail.

Where to find it

Widespread summer visitor to England and Wales and southern Scotland. Absent from Northern Ireland.


When to find it

  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

The Wildlife Trusts manage many grassland and woodland nature reserves sympathetically for Lesser Whitethroats and other bird species. You can help by supporting your local Trust and becoming a member; you'll find out about exciting wildlife happenings, events on your doorstep and volunteering opportunities, and be helping local wildlife along the way.

Species information

Common name
Lesser Whitethroat
Latin name
Sylvia curruca
Tits, goldcrests and warblers
Length: 13cm Wingspan: 18cm Weight: 12g Average Lifespan: 2 years
Conservation status