Eurasian blackcap

Hat-wearing warbler

Blackcap, photo Tomi Muukkonen

The Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) is a demanding species that favours lush, herb-rich forests with dense shrub layers consisting of bird cherries, mountain currant shrubs and fern stands. Its song consists of chirping and warbling that ends with a clear, sophisticated, flute-like theme: ‘tyy-tiii-tlyiiitivyy.’

The Eurasian blackcap builds its nest in a small shrub or ostrich fern stand. The grey-tinted male has a black, beret-like cap, while the female’s cap is reddish brown. The best places to see Eurasian blackcaps in the Helsinki metropolitan area are the region’s best herb-rich forests, such as Mustavuori.

The garden warbler (Sylvia borin) is a similar herb-rich forest warbler, but it prefers overgrown gardens and the edges of fields with shrubs. Its song is a soft warble without the blackcap’s impressive flute theme.

Garden warbler, photo Arne Ader.