The Dartford Warbler has distinct male and female plumages. The male has a grey back and head, reddish underparts, and a red eye. The reddish throat is spotted with white. The sides are a dull greyish tone, being more clear about the abdomen. In some populations males have bluish-grey or brownish-grey backs and heads. The female is paler below, especially on the throat, and a browner grey above. The female's throat also has white spots, although they are smaller and less marked than in the male. Juvenile birds are similar to females. This bird is (13 cm (5.1 in) long.

Habitat and Distribution

The species is naturally rare. The largest European populations of Sylvia undata are in the Iberian peninsula, others in much of France in Italy and southern England. In Africa it can be found only in small areas in the north, wintering in northern Morocco and northern Algeria. It breeds in heathlands, and near coasts. Its plumage has unobtrusive and muted tones, which blend in with the dry dead plants, old wood or sunny greyish wood found in its preferred habitats.


These warblers are mostly insectivore, feeding caterpillars, butterfliess, beetles and spiders.


The nest is built in low shrub, and 3-6 eggs are laid. It nests in bushes with thorns and near the ground.

Calls and Songs

The song of the Dartford Warbler is a distinctive rattling warble.