Blyth’s Reed Warbler

Blyth’s Reed Warbler    Acrocephalus  dumetorum


  • Acrocephalus:Greek word akros –topmost, highest ; kephale–head
  • Dumetorum : Latin word for “ the thicket” derived from dumetum–thicket 

Vernacular Names:  Hindi: Podna, Tiktiki, Pun: Dabhpiddi, Ben: Tikra, Guj: Pan tiktiki, Blth-no pan tiktiki, Kantakarkariyo, Te: Kampajitta, Mal: Eetapolappan,Kan: Booduuliyakki, Mar: Blyth CahBoruVatvatya

Distribution in India: Widespread Winter and passage migrant except parts of North West India.

Description: Size of 12-13cm.It is asmall unstreaked reed-warbler with drab, cold and comparatively uniform plumage, slim build, short and rounded wing, relatively long bill. Has whitish supercilium rather pronounced in front of eye, often with quite distinct dusky eyestripe; crown and upperparts olive-brown, wing rather uniform brown, paler fringes indistinct; pale to whitish below, with dusky ochre to grey-buff wash on breast side and flanks; iris dark brown; bill dark grey-horn, pale flesh-coloured base of lower mandible; legs typically dull grey, sometimes fleshy brown.Both the sexes look similar.

Habitat: It is found during breeding season in light shrub, riverain deciduous forest, floodland with oak, forest among fields with rich herbaceous vegetation, forest gulley with bushes, on dry riverbeds, thickets on slopes of hills and valleys, forest edges, abandoned or tended orchards, parks and vegetable gardens; also along rivulets, canals and ditches overgrown with reeds and tall grass; also edges of marshes, and occasionally along taiga brooks with thick reedbeds. Prime prerequisite for nesting is combination of dry, dense bushy and herbaceous vegetation with more open areas nearby. Found up to1200 m.

Food Habits: It eats mayflies, dragonflies, stoneflies, orthopterans, larval earwigs, bugs, lacewings, adult and larval lepidopterans, caddis flies, dipteran flies, hymenopterans, adult and larval beetles (Coleoptera); spiders, harvestmen, snails; some seeds also eaten. It forages usually on side or top foliage of trees and bushes, as well as in herb layer. It hops on the ground, and catches insects in flight.

Breeding Habits: They breed in May-Julyin Finland and Siberia.They are monogamous, with facultative polygyny; pair formation takes place on breeding grounds. The nest is built by female/ the nest is a neat and compact cup of dry grass stalks and leaves, rootlets, plant fibers, spider web, lined with finer stems and hair, suspended above ground in dense herbaceous layer, sometimes in shrub or small tree. They lay a clutch of 3–6 eggs. The incubation is done by both sexes, either equally or with female doing more of the work for a period of 11–14 days. The nestling period is 10–12 days. The young become independent 10–22 days after leaving nest.