Appearance and behavior. Slavka medium size, larger than gray, but smaller hawkish Slavka, body length 12.5–15 cm, wingspan 20–25 cm, weight 14–24 g. In general appearance - typical slavka, with a relatively short beak and slightly shortened, straight ending in a tail, these signs distinguish it from more long-billed reed-stones of similar color, having a longer and rounded tail. It differs from them in the manner of moving mainly along horizontal or inclined branches in the crowns of shrubs, and not along the vertical stems of herbaceous plants, as well as in voice and biotopic timing.
Description. The color is modest, more monotonous than that of other slavs, resembling the color of reed: olive-gray top, whitish bottom with a pale grayish tinge on the sides, throat, belly, and undertails are light, almost white. Males and females are indistinguishable in coloring, young birds in the first autumn outfit differ from adults in lighter vertices of tertiary flight feathers, while the wing as a whole is colored, nevertheless, much more evenly than in young hawk wolf. The eyes are black, around them there is a poorly visible, very thin light ring, only a small bright eyebrow is outlined above the eye. Beak and legs are gray, relatively light. A distinctive coloring element is the presence on the sides of the neck of small blurred gray-gray spots contrasting with the surrounding brownish areas. It differs from the young hawkfish by its bright undercoat and the absence of a contrasting pattern on the wing.
Vote. Sings usually in the depths of bushes or crowns of low trees, rarely appears on the eyes. The songs are usually shorter than the songs of Chernogolovka, last from 3 to 8 seconds, but can follow one after the other almost without interruption, they are usually performed faster, without pauses, and do not include beautiful, sonorous, “flute” notes, that is, in general, more resemble an even murmur with a rising, a lowering tone. Sometimes they sound like hawkish songs. In case of anxiety, it produces a typical charm, single and series. When singing does not make current flights.
Distribution, status. Gnezdovoy range occupies almost the whole of Europe and Western Siberia to the Yenisei. Winters in Africa. Arrives relatively late, usually in May, flies in September or October. The usual, but not numerous, species of almost all European Russia, except for its southern regions.
Lifestyle. It inhabits various biotopes with shrubs from virtually destitute trees to light forests, including relatively damp areas in the floodplains of rivers, as well as gardens and parks, if they have a sufficient amount of brushwood. The nest of the calyx-shaped shape, somewhat thicker and deeper than that of Chernogolovka, is embedded between the branches of bushes or the stems of grassy plants not high above the ground. There are several male unfinished nests on the nesting site. In laying, from 2 to 6, usually 4–5 eggs of different colors, like blackheads. Almost only female incubates the clutch for 10–12 days, both parents feed the nestlings, the fly leaves the nest at the age of 9–12 days. Newborn chicks are naked.
It feeds on insects, which it collects from the surface of branches and leaves, grass stalks, and at the end of summer - small berries.