Grasshopper warbler

Grasshopper warbler

Amy Lewis

Grasshopper warbler

Scientific name: Locustella naevia
This small summer migrant travels from Africa to breed in the reedbeds of the UK. Rarely seen but given away by its insect like trilling call; the movement of the head during calling makes it tricky to pinpoint the exact location of singing perch.

Species information


Length: 2.5-13.5cm
Wingspan: 15-19cm

Conservation status

Red List species
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When to see



The grasshopper warbler has declined hugely in recent decades giving it Red List species designation. The decline is due to loss of habitat in both its summer and winter ranges. This small migrant nests in scrub and reedbed and feeds on insects.

How to identify

A rather non-descript brown/buff plumage make the grasshopper warbler difficult to visually recognise. Instead it is usually identified by its high pitched call.


Scattered across the UK but less common in Scotland.

Did you know?

As we get older the first part of the hearing to deteriorate is the exact pitch the grasshopper warbler sings at! Sad to think most of us will stop hearing them at some stage in our lives.