Birds of Switzerland
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    Common Chiffchaff

    Phylloscopus collybita

    Information

    The inconspicuous warbler introduces itself with a distinct and often repetitive “chiff-chaff”. As one of the first migrants, its song can be heard already in mid-March. A few birds try regularly to spend the winter in Switzerland, especially near water. The Common Chiffchaff is not so particular in choosing its territory and inhabits almost any woodland up to the treeline. It is one of our most widespread breeding birds. The female is responsible for building the domed cup nest, for which it requires at least 1200 flights.

    Voice

    Status (in CH)
    regular, common breeder and migrant, scarce winter visitor
    Annual cycle
    The bar on the top line indicates during which seasons the species can be observed regularly in Switzerland. There can be great seasonal fluctuations of numbers. The middle bar indicates the typical migration seasons of a species. The bottom bar indicates the period during which the species normally breeds. As a rule it spans the period from egg-laying to fledging of the young.
    Annual cycle
    Annual cycle

    Facts

    Population size in Switzerland (Pairs)
    200'000 - 300'000 (2008-2012)
    Migration behaviour
    short-distance migrant
    Diurnal/nocturnal migrant
    Diurnal and nocturnal migrant
    Length (cm)
    10-12
    wing span (cm)
    15-21
    Weight (g)
    6-9
    Nest site
    ground
    Food
    insects, spiders
    Group
    Warblers and allies
    Habitat
    forest, settlements
    Distribution
    Distribution
    Distribution