Dartford Warbler identification points
Long, slender, dark tail
Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide
Play call/song
Adult male
Pale spots on dark red throat
Dark red-brown underside
Female generally duller, lacks the red underside. The red eye, long tail and birds profile aids identification.
Brownish grey back
Red eye ring

Dartford Warbler

Sylvia undata
Bill yellow at base
Similar Species
Subalpine Warbler (Rare)
Long tail
Pinkish red breast
White stripe on cheek
Pale blue-grey head
Red eye ring
Paler belly
Dartford Warbler
Adult Female
Subalpine Warbler
Sardinian Warbler (Rare)
Sardinian Warbler
Long dark tail/white edges
Whitish underside
Pale grey back
Deep black head and cheeks
Red eye ring
Distinctive white throat
White eye ring
Pale whitish underside
Bright chestnut wings
Bluish grey head
Dull brown back
Distinctive white throat
Long tail, dark, edged white
Lesser Whitethroat
Dark smudge through eye
Pale whitish underside pink tinge
Dull grey-brown back
Bluish grey head
Dark grey legs
Distinctive white throat
Long tail, dark, edged white
Lesser Whitethroat
Warbler Menu
Thanks to:https://www.flickr.com/photos/8207978@N05/ (Modified)
Male Dartford Warbler
This male poses in the typical Dartford Warbler posture, on a high branch of a gorse bush, note the distinctive long tail, red-brown underside and the red eye ring.
The male Dartford Warbler has a long tail, dark red underside and grey head and is most often seen calling from the top of a small gorse bush.
Order: Passeriformes

Family: Sylviidae

Genus: Sylvia

Species: S. undata
Resident bird in localised areas of Southern England. Rare elsewhere in the UK. Widespread in Spain and Italy. Is considered a vulnerable bird in the UK with numbers dwindling, especially following hard winters which can cause high mortality rates.
In the UK the bird is almost always found in heath-land mature gorse bushes.

The Dartford Warbler like many other warblers is a secretive skulking bird making it hard to see. The male will however sit high in the gorse and sing in calm mild conditions.
Usually presents as a very dark looking bird as the red on the underside is only visible in favorable light conditions. The female bird is darker still but rarely seen, spending her time low down in thick undergrowth.
The Dartford Warbler will usually make it's presence known by it's harsh call. The red eye ring and long tail, along with location is usually enough to establish identification, however beware of the even rarer vagrant male Subalpine warbler which is almost identical apart from a white flash on the cheeks and can turn up almost anywhere in the UK.