Encyclopedia > Stonechat

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Scientific classification
Binomial name
Saxicola torquata

The Stonechat Saxicola torquata is a member of the Thrush family Turdidae.

It is a partially migratory insectivorous species, but the European race rubicola is resident in the milder south and west of its range. The Irish race hibernans is also largely resident. Stonechats breeds in open rough gorse, tussocks or heather.

The race variegata from west fo the Caspian Sea has a tail pattern resembling wheatear.

The migratory eastern races like maura may be a separate species Siberian Stonechat. They are paler with white rumps.

Stonechat is similar in size to the European Robin. Both sexes of rubicola have a yellowish rump and dark tail.

The summer male rubicola has black upperparts, orange throat and black head. It has white patches on the sides of its neck.

The female has paler brown upperparts and head, and no white neck patches.

The male has a clicking call like stones knocking together, which gives it its name. The song is high and twittering like a Dunnock[?].

Other members of the genus include

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