The adult has unstreaked brown upperparts and dull buffish-white chin and underparts. The forehead is flattened, and the bill is strong and pointed. It looks very much like a giant Eurasian reed warbler (A. scirpaceus), but with a stronger supercilium. The sexes are identical, as with most old world warblers, but young birds are richer buff below. It measures 16?21 cm (6.3?8.3 in) in length, 25 to 30 cm (9.8 to 11.8 in) in wingspan and weighs 22 to 38 g (0.78 to 1.34 oz).
Habitat and Distribution
This passerine bird is found in large reed beds, often with some bushes. On their breeding grounds, they are territorial. In their winter quarters, they are frequently found in large groups, and may occupy a reed bed to the exclusion of other birds. It is a migratory bird, wintering in tropical Africa. This bird migrates north at a rather late date, and some birds remain in their winter quarters until the end of April.
Like most warblers, it is insectivorous, but it will take other prey items of small size, including vertebrates such as tadpoles.
Calls and Songs
The warbler's song is very loud and far-carrying. The song's main phrase is a chattering and creaking carr-carr-cree-cree-cree-jet-jet, to which the whistles and vocal mimicry typical of marsh warblers are added.