Reed warbler perched on reed stem singing

Reed warbler

Reed warblers are expert at gripping on to vertical reed stems whilst looking for insects. Parents home in on the spots on the tongues of their chicks to guide this nutrious food to its destination. There is little to distinguish these plain brown birds from other warblers - even the sexes are almost identical. This doesn't seem to pose a problem for cuckoos, who seem all too able to identify their most common victims. Reed warblers are summer vistors to the UK, breeding in southern and central reedbeds before heading south to spend the winter in Africa.

Scientific name: Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Eurasian reed warbler,
  • European reed warbler

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The Reed warbler can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Europe, United Kingdom, Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


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

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


Characters we've followed

  • The Pensthorpe Reed Warbler The Pensthorpe Reed Warbler

    In 2010 Springwatch followed a panicle of reed warblers who had built their nest in a reed bed on the scrape in Pensthorpe.

BBC News about Reed warbler