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Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler update

On Monday 14 May 2018, I found a presumed hybrid Western Bonelli’s x Wood Warbler at Noordhollands Duinreservaat, Castricum, the Netherlands (see here). On 29 May, the bird was still present and, to my surprise, it was no longer alone. Obviously, a female Wood Warbler had fallen for the striking looks and accent of the devoted singer. What's more, she was building a nest and he followed her everywhere she went!

In the weeks that followed, Hans Schekkerman and I regularly visited the birds, gathering information on their breeding behaviour. The female laid five eggs, however, on 19 June only three young were in the nest. Presumably, two unhatched eggs had been removed. About nine days later the young successfully fledged.

Depicted below are some of the photos and sound-recordings I made.




Presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler, between song phrases, 14 May 2018



Female Wood Warbler, collecting nesting material, 29 May 2018



Presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler, watching over female while collecting nesting material, 29 May 2018



Wood Warbler, with nesting material, 29 May 2018



Wood Warbler, near nest, 31 May 2018



Nest with five eggs of presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler and Wood Warbler, 14 June 2018



Presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler, collecting food for its young, 23 June 2018



Presumed hybrid Western Bonelli’s x Wood Warbler, bringing a caterpillar to its young, 25 June 2018



Nest with three young (c 10 days old) of presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler and Wood Warbler, 26 June 2018



Presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler, giving agitated calls with a Eurasian Jay nearby, 27 June 2018. Click here to listen to the recording.



Wood Warbler, near nest, 28 June 2018. Click here to listen to the recording.



Begging calls of fledgling of presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler and Wood Warbler, 29 June 2018. Click here to listen to the recording.



Fledgling of presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler and Wood Warbler, 29 June 2018



Presumed hybrid Western Bonellis x Wood Warbler, job done (almost), 29 June 2018


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Published 29 June 2018