Body length: 12 – 13 cm. Width of the wings: 17 – 21 cm. Weight: 10-14 g. Longevity: 11 years.

The adult has a finely streaked brown back and white underparts. The forehead is flattened, there is a prominent whitish supercilium, grey ear coverts, and the bill is strong and pointed. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are more heavily streaked and have markings on the breast. The plumage is similar to that of the coastal cobbler. It is distinguished by the brighter and wider back of the eyebrows, the narrow black mustache and the shorter wing projection.

The song of the Moustached Warbler starts with some of the most beautiful and sweet sounds that gradually rise in crescendo. These clean and delicate notes, counting about ten, follow one after another quickly and almost in the same tone, “tue, tue, tue, tue” or “due, due, due”. After this sound phase, without a transition, follows a warlike, very animated, fast and pretty melody trellis. The cry of contact is a throat “trek”. In case of anxiety, he sounds “trrrg” sounds.


Distribution and Habitat

Old World Bird. Breeds in southern Europe and the southern part of the temperate belt in Asia and a little in Northwest Africa. A very rare vagrant was seen in Poland, Denmark and the UK. The Moustached Warbler is a partially migratory species. Birds from the Mediterranean regions do not migrate, at least a few chaotic motions in the marshes during the winter season, and the birds of Southeast Europe are wintering in the Mediterranean. Hungarian birds migrate to the northern part of Italy and Dalmatia, Greece, to the Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily), but sometimes south to Lake Chad under the Sahara. The Asian population migrates to Arabia and Pakistan. The migration is in March and the autumn – in September.

It inhabits wetlands with vegetation along the periphery. He likes wetlands and swamps, but not where there are compact cane formations, but rather dwells on the edge of flooded areas, where the stems of reeds mixed with those of rush and sedge in which Mustached Warbler likes to jump.

A rare species in Bulgaria. Population decreases due to the destruction of coastal marshes and the reduction of wetlands as a result of the development of tourism, as well as the use of insecticides, especially for the control of mosquitoes.



Feeds with insects, spiders and water snails.



The Moustached Warbler usually lives alone or in pairs. This is an extremely secretive bird that can remain hidden for long periods of time.

Breeds among marsh vegetation. The nest is built over water among reeds or rushes or in a bush and is made from more or less fine materials found in the swamp: leaves and inflorescences, fluff. The Moustached Warbler lays 5 to 6 eggs and incubates for 14–15 days. One generation a year, between April and July.


Conservation Status

A protected species from the Biodiversity Act.






Moustached Warbler (Acrocephalus melanopogon)