European Stonechat

Saxicola rubicola

The European Stonechat is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a subspecies of the Common Stonechat. Long considered a member of the thrush family Turdidae, genetic evidence has placed it and its relatives in the Old World flycatcher family Muscicapidae.
Young European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) Canillo, Andorra. Jul 31, 2021 Andorra,European Stonechat,Geotagged,Saxicola rubicola,Summer


It is 11.5–13 cm long and weighs 13–17 g, slightly smaller than the European Robin. Both sexes have distinctively short wings, shorter than those of the more migratory Whinchat and Siberian Stonechat.

The summer male has black upperparts, a black head, an orange throat and breast, and a white belly and vent. It also has white half-collar on the sides of its neck, a small white scapular patch on the wings, and a very small white patch on the rump often streaked with black.

The female has brown upperparts and head, and no white neck patches, rump or belly, these areas being streaked dark brown on paler brown, the only white being the scapular patch on the wings and even this often being buffy-white.
Stonechat Stonechat at Point of Ayre European Stonechat,Isle of Man,Saxicola rubicola


The male's song is high and twittering like a Dunnock. Both sexes have a clicking call like stones knocking together.
European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) One of five sub-species of Stonechats which include an African and a Siberian Stonechat, they were once thought of as a one of the Thrush family but they are now considered an Old World Flycatcher.

This is actually just an excuse for me to point out a group of Thrushes are collectively known either as a "Hermitage" or a "Mutation" of Thrushes. You gotta love that!

I like this fun little bird which sadly, despite its 'green' conservation status is on the decline due to habitat loss.

The photo above shows a male Stonechat in his summer coat.

In this accompanying video, we see a Juvenile and both an adult male and female: European Stonechat,Fall,Geotagged,Saxicola rubicola,United Kingdom


European Stonechats breed in heathland, coastal dunes and rough grassland with scattered small shrubs and bramble, open gorse, tussocks or heather. They are short-distance migrants or non-migratory, with part of the population moving south to winter further south in Europe and more widely in north Africa.


Some text fragments are auto parsed from Wikipedia.

Status: Least concern
SpeciesS. rubicola