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Conservation status: Red

The whinchat is a small perching bird. It hops or runs on the ground and often perches on top of low bushes. It has a prominent white stripe above the eye. It is streaky brown above and warm orange-buff on the breast.

The whinchat is a summer visitor and passage migrant. Birds breed in upland areas of northern and western Britain with a few in Ireland. It winters in central and southern Africa. Whinchat numbers in Britain more than halved between 1995 and 2008, the cause(s) being unknown.



Latin name

Saxicola rubetra


Chats and thrushes (Turdidae)

Where to see them

In the breeding season, best looked for in suitable habitat in upland parts of northern and western Britain. It can also be seen on passage at coastal migration watchpoints and suitable habitat inland.

When to see them

April to mid-September.

What they eat

Insects and some seeds.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-47,000 pairs--




Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto

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