I have had a blackcap visiting my London garden over the last two weeks and he can be seen daily, feeding on the suet balls and seeds which are available.

There is no sign of a mate and I haven't yet heard him singing.

What are the chances of him staying around and breeding or is it likely he's just passing through, albeit slowly?

And is a London blackcap unusual? I live between Brixton and Camberwell.

  • Hello Alison,    a lovely bird to see in your garden and although you haven't seen it's mate it may be paired up with another Blackcap which is lurking in the background.   These birds can overwinter in UK although we get migrant Blackcaps joining in the springtime from around end March from Europe or N.Africa.  They usually like parks, gardens, woodland areas which have an abundance of trees, shrubs where they can nest so if you have that sort of habitat close by they may breed locally;  it's still early in the season so keep listening for the song.     Enjoy the views even it is just passing through heading northwards on its journey.    They will eat a range of foods from the seeds you are offering it to variety of insects and later in the year will feast on berries, etc.    


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • I have the same situation with a female Blackcap. She’s been visiting my garden everyday for a few weeks now to feed on the suet I leave out for her. I saw a male a couple of times, but I think she chased him off. She’s picky! I live in Ealing. I’ve seen quite a few reports of single Blackcaps so I’m not sure what’s going on. I’m hoping she will stay and nest.
  • In reply to Joann S:

    Blackcaps have been overwintering in Britain in increasing numbers in recent years. It's thought that the prevalence of garden feeding has influenced their behaviour. Also, I understand that research has shown that many/most of the Blackcaps in our gardens have migrated to the UK from central Europe. 

    You may find this ARTICLE from the BTO interesting.

    I suspect your Blackcap will not stay to breed and if it is from Europe then it will probably head back there. I've had Blackcaps in the garden in the winter (although not this year) but they've never stayed



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