Sylvia atricapilla



An extended portion of blackcap song, demonstrating the bird's remarkable ability to mimic another species in real time. The imitated species (song thrush) is clearly audible in the background throughout the recording.

Listening closely, one can hear how the blackcap extracts various phrases from the song thrush's distant vocalisations, skilfully incorporating them into its own song statements. I stood for several minutes as both species vocalised in two separate corners of a Cotswold meadow.

Insects and other bird species are audible in the background.



Photo by Juan Emilio from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, España [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons. Link: