First breeding attempt of spectacled warbler Sylvia conspicillata in the Italian Alps

Assandri G.

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On 30.06.2012 the author found a territorial male spectacled warbler Sylvia conspicillata at Collombardo (1860-1900 m a.s.l., Graie Alps, Piedmont, NW Italy). This bird was regularly observed singing till 21.07.2012 and once seen carrying nest material into a bush. No others individuals were observed in the area. The site is an abandoned pasture characterized by a low shrub layer (50-60 cm) of species belonging to RhododendroVaccinion alliance and by a taller layer (2 m) dominated by Alnus viridis. The area has a NE exposure and lacks of xerothermic features. Mean July temperature is 15.5 ± 0.3 °C, much lower than the 23 ºC generally considered as the northern thermal limit for the spectacled warbler. In Italy this species breeds in Mediterranean area up to the latitude of Bologna and is very rarely observed further north: this note reports the first breeding attempt ever observed in the Italian Alps.