Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)


This bird is medium-sized, around 11 centimetres long. The upperparts are olive-green washed with dull brown. The underparts are whitish or pale yellowish-white. The head is olive-brown a fine whitish eye-ring contrasting with dark brown eye stripe. The fine, pointed bill is dark brown to blackish. The eyes are dark brown, and the legs and feet are black or dark brown.The bird in winter plumage is duller and browner. Both sexes are similar in plumage, but females are smaller than males.The song sung by the Common Chiffchaff is given in a favoured vantage point, which is used to advertise an established territory and contact the female, rather than a paternity guard strategy, although fearless towards predators, even the Stoat.


The Common Chiffchaff frequents the lowland deciduous forests, the woodlands with short undergrowth, hedgerows, large gardens and parks, and reed beds. In the non-breeding season, it frequents wooded habitats such as coastal scrub and willow thickets, but also parks, gardens and cultivated areas.


Chiffchaffs feed on insects, such as midges and other flies, caterpillars and moths, which they find by foraging in tree canopies and among bushes. Indeed, Phylloscopus means leaf explorer and Chiffchaffs search the undersides of leaves where aphids congregate and feed on the tree’s sugary sap.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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