Grasshopper Warbler singing

Grasshopper Warbler singing

Grasshopper Warbler is a species of Old World warbler.

Breeding across much of temperate Europe and western Asia and migrates in the winter to Africa.

A Rare bird not often seen they have a rattling song likened to the sound of insects such as crickets. Even when you hear one it can be difficult to locate it due to the ventriloquial effect of its singing.

Population of this bird has sadly dropped dramatically making it a rare breed.


This bird seldom takes to the wing but spends its time scurrying through dense vegetation, flitting from twig to twig or running along the ground. They have a peculiar high-stepping gait and long stride as it moves along horizontal stems, looking slender and tapering.

It seldom flies, soon diving back into cover, and when it alights it often raises and flares its tail to show its streaked under-tail coverts. It has been known to feign injury in order to distract a potential predator.

Male common grasshopper warblers try to attract females by displaying to them. They walk or run along twigs with tail spread, fluttering their wings as they raise and lower them. 

Both sexes take part in nest-building. Their nest is well-concealed and built close to the ground. In  grass tussocks, gorse bushes, reed beds, tangled hedgerows, scrub and among coarse heather plants .

A clutch of four to six eggs is laid.

Parents are involved in incubating the eggs which takes about fourteen days. The chicks are fed on insects. They fledge in twelve to thirteen days and there are usually two broods in the season.

Young birds become mature at a year old and the highest recorded age for this species is five years.