The Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) is a well-marked and distinctive warbler. The Blackcap has an engaging and musical song, and is easy to identify in all plumages. The sexes are dissimilar.
The adult male has grey-brown upperparts and paler, dusky grey underparts that are palest on the throat and undertail. There is also a pale eye-ring and diagnostic black cap. The adult female has grey-brown upperparts,pale buffish-grey underparts and a reddish chestnut cap, as well as a pale eye-ring. The alarm call is a sharp tchek, and the song is a rich and musical warble, similar to that of garden warbler.
The species can be found in a variety of habitats, from deciduous woodland with dense undergrowth to areas of scrub and gardens and parks. Several hundred thousand pairs probably breed in the UK, and most – if not all – are summer visitors.
Blackcaps are easy to find throughout the region during the breeding period, and territorial males are often in full song by mid-April.
- Sterry.P., (2004) Collins Complete Guide to British Birds. Harper Collins Publishing Ltd, London.