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

Unknown

The Stonechat is a small member of the thrush family, and is mostly black and white in color patterns. The preferred habitat of the Stonechat is open meadows and edges of marshlands. This species forages for food on the ground or gleans it from local low vegetation. The Stonechat is commonly found in Siberia in dry grasslands, moors, damp meadows and hillsides. It may also be seen occasionally on islands off the coast of Alaska. The conservation rating for the White-tailed and Reunion Stonechat is Least Concern, but the Fuerteventura Stonechat is classified as Endangered.

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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

CERange Map for Stonechat

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