Phylloscopus sibilatrix | Wood Warbler | Ceolaire coille



Conservation status

This species is Red-listed according to Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 2020-2026 and is of high conservation value as a result.

Moved onto the Red list as a result of breeding population and range declines (Gilbert, Stanbury and Lewis, 2021).

Species Biology


The Wood Warbler has a length of around 12 cm and a wingspan of 22 cm.

This small species weighs approximately 10 grams.

Mostly a pale green colour with the exception of a yellow supercilium, dark coloured eye stripe and white breast.

The legs can be brown to pink in colouration.

As it tends to keep to the woodland canopy it is most easily identified by its distinctive song.


Mainly feeds on invertebrates such as insects and arachnids but can feed on some fruits also.


Found in deciduous woodlands that offer a closed canopy and little shrub cover.

On a European level, most of the population exist in forested lowlands with closed canopies.


This species will lay a clutch of 5-6 eggs from early May onwards.

Eggs are very small at around 1.3 grams.

Incubation period is approximately two weeks followed by a fledging period of about the same length of time. 


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

A small number of Willow Warblers breed in oak forest in County Wicklow but are rare.

Rare passage migrant to areas of County Cork and County Wexford.

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.

Further information

BirdWatch Ireland:

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds:

British Trust for Ornithology:



Gilbert, G., Stanbury, A. and Lewis, L., 2021. Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 4: 2020-2026. [online] Wicklow. Available at: <> [Accessed 2 Jun. 2021].