Black Cap

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Common Name: Black Cap
Scientific Name: Sylvia atricapilla

Size: 5.3-5.9 inches (13.5-15 cm)

Habitat: Europe; Breeds in northern and central European and winters in southern Europe and North Africa where the local populations are resident. In recent years, substantial numbers of central European birds have taken to wintering in gardens in southern England. Presumably the ready availability of food, particularly from bird feeders, and the avoidance of migration over the Alps compensate for the sub-optimal climate. Black Caps prefer shady woodlands with ample groundcover.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 80,000,000 - 200,000,000 Mature individuals. The population is suspected to be increasing owing to afforestation and land use changes leading to increased shrubby growth in parts of its range. In Europe, trends since 1980 show that populations have undergone a moderate increase.

Diet: Insects and berries. Unlike most warblers, it will eat berries as readily as insects.

Breeding: As with most species in the Sylviid family. male and female distinct differences in their plumages: male has the small black cap and in the female the cap is light brown. The nest is built in a low shrub, and 3–6 eggs are laid. The song is a pleasant chattering with some clearer notes like a Blackbird. that characteristically ends with an emphatic fluting warble..

Cool Facts: The Blackcap is a common and widespread sylviid warbler which breeds throughout northern and temperate Europe. Its color pattern is unique in the genus Sylvia; the Blackcap's closest living relative is the Garden Warbler which looks different but has very similar vocalizations. These two, whose ranges extend farther northeastwards than other Sylvia, seem to form sister species well distinct from the other typical warblers

The presence and sounds of this bird have since long inspired Italian writers. "La Capinera" (Italian for Blackcap) is the title of one of the most famous poems by Giovanni Pascoli. “Storia di una capinera” is a 1993 movie directed by Franco Zeffirelli and distributed with the international title "Sparrow".

The Blackcap is considered a delicacy in some Mediterranean countries where many of these birds are illegally trapped and killed every year.

The Blackcap's call symbolizes St Francis in Messiaen's opera, Saint-François d'Assise.

Found in Songbird ReMix European Edition 2

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