Site address
(not postal)
Woodcroft Wildspace
Downes Court
N21 3PT

Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) a.k.a. Northern Nightingale

The male blackcap is named for his black cap, but the female has a reddish brown one. It is has grey feathers and its length is 13 cm with a wingspan of 20-23 cm. Adults weigh 16-25g.

It likes to live in woodland with tall trees; parks with an undergrowth of shrubs and in mature gardens with trees and shrubs. In winter it will readily come into gardens for food.

The blackcap feeds on insects and berries.

Breeding birds usualy arrive in April or May and leave in September or October, but in recent years of mild winters birds from north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in Britain, mostly in England.

The song is a warbling, fluty sound with a lovely melody. Its call is a harsh sounding 'tac tac'.

The black cap lays 4-6 eggs which hatch in 11-12 days. The young fledge in 10-14 days.

The maximum lifespan is 10 years

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