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Woodland management for birds: Priority species

Wood warbler

Sue Tranter/rspb-images.com

Long-distance migrant, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa

Status

  • Principal Biodiversity Species in Wales

  • The Population Status of Birds in Wales:

Green-listed25

Population trend and distribution

characteristic open oak-wood species, eg pied flycatcher.

Nesting: the nest is located in a slight depression on the ground, amongst vegetation or sometimes under a log or fallen branch.

Breeding season:

Mar Apr May

June

July

Aug

Sept

A summer visitor characteristic of Welsh upland oak woods, found throughout much of mid and north Wales and the upland areas of the south (Lovegrove et al. 1996). The RWBS showed declines of 30.9% (the RSPB) and 24.8% (BTO) (Amar et al. 2006) in Wales since the mid-1980s.

Feeding: wood warblers feed exclusively on invertebrates during the nesting season and take some fruit in the autumn. Prey is sought in foliage and twigs in the canopy; they also fly-catch and hover to pick from foliage.

Species requirements

Conservation issues

Habitat: wood warblers are characteristic of the hillside upland oak woods of Wales, although birch and larch woods are also used. Woods with an open understorey, sparse shrub layer and a low field layer and bare ground are favoured (Stowe 1987). This species prefers higher altitude woodlands and higher levels of shrub than other

The causes of decline are not well understood but possible factors include: changes in woodland structure leading to the development of shrub and field layers, eg through a lack of woodland management, particularly a lack of grazing increased mortality caused by deterioration in conditions on wintering grounds and during migration.

Figure 28 Breeding distribution of the wood warbler

in Wales.

25 Preliminary assessment for 2008 revision of The Population Status of Birds in Wales: Amber-listed.

72

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