Blackcap, Zwartkop, Mönchsgrasmücke, Toutinegra-de-barrette-preto, Curruca Capirotada

Spotted at the Monte Horioznte in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                                      Blackcap sound

The Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) is a common and widespread sylviid warbler which breeds throughout temperate Europe, western Asia (east to about 85°E) and northwestern Africa, and winters from northwestern Europe south to tropical Africa. Its colour pattern is unique in the genus Sylvia; the Blackcap’s closest living relative is the Garden Warbler which looks different but has a fairly similar song. These two, whose ranges extend farther northeastwards than most other Sylvia species (except for Lesser Whitethroat and Common Whitethroat), seem to form sister species well distinct from the other typical warblers.

Blackcap Birding Portugal

More photos at the bottom of this page:

It is a robust typical warbler, mainly grey in plumage. Like most Sylvia species, it has distinct male and female plumages: The male has the small black cap from which the species gets its name, whereas in the female the cap is brown. 

It is a bird of shady woodlands with ground cover for nesting. The nest is built in a low shrub, and 3–6 eggs are laid. The song is a pleasant chattering with some clearer notes; it can be confused with that of the Garden Warbler, but in the Blackcap, it is slightly higher pitched, more broken into discrete individual songs (more continuous rambling song in Garden Warbler) and characteristically ends with an emphatic fluting warble.

In isolated Blackcap populations (such as in valleys or on peninsulas and small islands), a simplified song can occur; this song is said to have a Leiern-type (“drawling”) ending after the term used by German ornithologists who first described it.

The introduction is like that in other Blackcaps, but the final warbling part is a simple alteration between two notes, as in a Great Tit’s call but more fluting.

Blackcap Birding Portugal
Blackcap Birding Portugal
Blackcap Birding Portugal
Blackcap Birding Portugal

 Other synonyms

Afrikaans: Swartkroonsanger
Asturian: Papuda
Breton: An devedig kabell du
Catalan: Busqueret de capell, Tallarol de casquet
Catalan (Balears): Busqueret de capell
Welsh: Lleian benddu, Penddu, Penlöyn, Telor bach penddu, Telor penddu
Danish: Munk
German: Moenchsgrasmuecke, Mönchsgramücke, Mönchsgrasmücke, Mönchsgrassmücke, Schwarzplättchen
English: Blackcap, Black-cap Warbler, Black-capped Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, European Blackcap
Spanish: Curruca Capirotada, Curruca mosquitera
Estonian: Mustpea-poosalind, Mustpea-põõsalind
Basque: Tallarol de casquet , Txinbo kaskabeltz, Txinbo kaskabeltza
Finnish: Mustapääkerttu, Mustapääkertut
Faroese: Munkur
French: Fauvette à tête noire
Frisian: Nettelkrûper
Irish: Caipín Dubh
Gaelic: Ceann-Dubh
Galician: Papuxa das amoras, Tallarol de casquet
Manx: Bayrn Dhoo, Kione doo ny yeeiginyn
Croatian: Crnoglava grmuša, Crnokapa Grmuša
Hungarian: Barátposzáta
Icelandic: Hettusöngvari
Italian: Capinera
Japanese: zuguromushikui, Zuguro-mushikui
Cornish: Telor pendu
Latin: Sylvia atricapilla
Lithuanian: Juodagalve devynbalse
Maltese: Kapinera
Dutch: Zwartkop
Norwegian: Munk, Munken
Polish: kapturka
Portuguese: toutinegra de barrete negro, Toutinegra-de-barrete-negro, Toutinegra-de-barrete-preto, Toutinegra-de-barrette-preto
Romansh: Fustgetta dal chapitsch
Russian: Slavka-chernogolovka
Sardinian: Conca de oro, Conchinigheddu, Deddea, Filormena, Prabarissa
Scots: Ceann dubh
Northern Sami: Gahpervizar
Slovenian: crnoglavka
Albanian: Bilbilth kokëzi, Bilbilthi kokëzi
Serbian: crnoglava grmuša
Swedish: Svarthätta
Swahili: Kucha Utosi-mweusi

Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip.

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