Dartford warbler perched on a branch (c) John McHale

Dartford warbler

Dartford Warblers are tiny, secretive birds, often glimpsed darting between bushes on lowland heath. If surprised they emit a harsh rattling call before vanishing into cover. They are unusual amongst the British warblers as they don't migrate away for the winter. As a result, they run the risk of starving if there's a period of severe frost when insects and spiders can't be found. During the harsh winter of 1962 numbers in the UK fell from 450 pairs to just 10.

Scientific name: Sylvia undata

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Dartford warbler taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Dartford warbler can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, Mediterranean, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Dartford warbler distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Perching birds
  6. Sylviidae
  7. Sylvia warblers
  8. Dartford warbler

BBC News about Dartford warbler