Stonechat

Saxicola torquatus

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Thrushes (Turdidae)

Code 4

STON

Code 6

SAXTOR

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Stonechat has a very large breeding range of more than 19 million square kilometers. It breeds in coastal dunes, and open, shrubby areas in Europe, various parts of northern, central, and southern Africa, Madagascar, parts of central Asia, and much of Russia south to northern Vietnam. It winters in Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, and parts of southern Asia, and has occurred as a vagrant to western North America, esecially Alaska. This species forages for food on the ground or gleans it from low vegetation and has a large estimated population of 25 to 276 million individuals. The Stonechat has a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Stonechat: Small thrush with black back and white rump. Underparts are white except for orange breast. Head is black and collar is white. Wings are black with white stripes. Tail is black. Female is paler overall with brown head and buff rump. Found in open meadows and marsh edges. Forages for insects on ground; also picks off vegetation.

 

Range and Habitat

Stonechat: It has a scattered distribution across much of sub-Saharan Africa, occurring locally as far north as Senegal and Ethiopia. Outlying populations are found the mountains of southwest Arabia and on Madagascar and Grande Comore. It is non-migratory, moving only locally if at all. Prefers open grassland, fynbos shrub-land, swamp edges and cultivated land.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"tsk-tsk-tsk", "tchack"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Stonechat utters a sharp loud call that sounds like two stones being tapped together.
  • In Britain and Europe this species is in decline, mostly due to loss of habitat.
  • A group of thrushes are collectively known as a "hermitage" and a "mutation" of thrushes.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CollarX
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X