Marmora

Marmora

[mahr-mer-uh]
Marmora: see Marmara.

Marmora's Warbler, Sylvia sarda, is a typical warbler, genus Sylvia. It breeds on Mediterranean islands, typically including Corsica and Sardinia. The smaller Balearic Islands subspecies is increasingly given specific status as Balearic Warbler, Sylvia balearica. These two seem to form a superspecies which in turn groups with Tristram's Warbler and the Dartford Warbler (Helbig 2001, Jønsson & Fjeldså 2006). They are generally resident but some birds migrate south to winter in north Africa. They are rare vagrants to northern and western Europe.

These are small, long tailed, large-headed birds, overall very similar to their close relatives in thr Dartford Warbler group. Marmora's Warblers are grey above and below, lacking the brick-red underparts of the Dartford Warbler. Adult males have darker patches on the forehead and between the eye and the pointed bill. The legs and iris are red. The song is a fast rattle. Immature birds can be confused with young Dartford Warblers, which are also grey below, but Marmora's have a paler throat. Their iris is dark.

The Balearic Warbler is 20% smaller than the nominate form. It is also paler below, with a pinkish tinge.

These small passerine birds are found in open country with thorny bushes and heather. 3-5 eggs are laid in a nest in a bush. Like most "warblers", they are insectivorous.

This bird is named after the Italian naturalist Alberto della Marmora.

References

  • Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • Helbig, A. J. (2001): Phylogeny and biogeography of the genus Sylvia. In: Shirihai, Hadoram: Sylvia warblers: 24-29. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. ISBN 0691088330
  • Jønsson, Knud A. & Fjeldså, Jon (2006): A phylogenetic supertree of oscine passerine birds (Aves: Passeri). Zool. Scripta 35(2): 149–186. (HTML abstract)

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