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Conservation status: Green

Stonechats are robin sized birds. Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back. Females lack the male's black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests. Birds are frequently seen flicking their wings while perched, often doing so on the tops of low bushes. As its name suggests, birds utter a sharp loud call that sound like two stones being tapped together. They breed in western and southern parts of the UK, but disperse more widely in winter.

Illustrations

Overview

Latin name

Saxicola torquata

Family

Chats and thrushes (Turdidae)

Where to see them

Heaths, conifer plantations or coastal sites, especially in southern and western counties.

When to see them

All year round

What they eat

Invertebrates, seeds and fruit (eg blackberries)

Population

EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-59,000 pairs--

Distribution

Key

Audio

Herman van Oosten, Xeno-canto

Similar birds

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