Savi's warbler

    Savi's warbler

    Locustella luscinioides

Castilian: Buscarla unicolor

Catalan: Boscaler comú

Gallego: Folosa unicolor

Euskera: Benarriz gorrizta


Orden: Passeriformes

Family: Sylviidae

Migratory status: Summer resident


On the National List of Threatened Species, it appears in the “Of Special Interest” category. In the 2004 edition of the Red Book of Spanish Birds (Libro Rojo de las Aves de España) it is listed as “Not Evaluated”.


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It is threatened by the destruction of the wetlands where it breeds, the alteration of the water cycle, and the modification of wetland vegetation. It is also affected by the adverse conditions of its wintering areas.

Length / size: 14 cm / 18-21 cm

Identification: Small bird whose back is reddish-brown, while its underparts are ochre-coloured and its tail is rounded. Its tail coverts display a light-coloured bar that is only visible with proper illumination.

Song: It makes a long and vibrant buzzing sound, similar to a cicada. It is also similar to that of the grasshopper warbler, only that in this case, it is faster and deeper.

Diet: It primarily feeds on different invertebrates, both adult insects and their larvae, and numerous small snails.

Reproduction: The breeding period begins in April. Both parents build the nest, which has a compact cup shape and is made of interwoven leaves, and which is placed in the river vegetation. Both parents also incubate the eggs and care for the chicks.


It occupies areas with river vegetation, with a preference for reed beds and other formations of bulrushes, canes or cat's-tails. It is found in wet freshwater or saltwater areas.


In Spain: It is distributed in very specific places: in wetlands on the Mediterranean coast, the Guadalquivir Valley, La Mancha, Extremadura, and the Northern Plateau.

In Castile and León: Its distribution is very limited to certain places. It definitely breeds in southern Palencia.

Movements and migrations: It is a trans-Saharan migratory species that winters in tropical Africa. The peninsula and Balearic Islands receive specimens from other countries during migration. The prenuptial passage takes place in March, and the postnuptial between August and October.


In Spain: There is an estimated population of 2000 breeding pairs.

In Castile and León: There is an estimated population of less than 50 breeding pairs.