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European Stonechat - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 15:26, 7 June 2023 by Sbarnhardt (talk | contribs) (Add Clearer Juvenile Image by jbpixels to Distribution section, Edit Geminineil female image to 350px)
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European Stonechat
Photo by IanF
Zinc Works Road, Seaton Carew, Cleveland, UK, June 2007
Saxicola rubicola


Photo by Geminineil
East Sussex, October 2010


  • Black head
  • White half-collar
  • Black back
  • White rump
  • Black tail
  • Black wings with a large white patch on the top side of the inner wing
  • Dark orange-red upper breast
  • White or pale orange lower breast and belly


  • Brown above and on head
  • Indistinct pale eyebrow line
  • Chestnut-buff underparts


Photo © by jbpixels
Upper Bavaria, May 2023

Found in Europe (mainly S and W), northwestern Africa and Turkey.


Formerly included in Common Stonechat together with African Stonechat and Siberian Stonechat.


Two subspecies recognized[1]:

  • S. r. hibernans:
  • S. r. rubicola:


Open rough scrubland and rough grassland with scattered shrubs.

On migration may be found in drier areas.


Most often seen in pairs perched up on a stick or shrub. It flies down onto the ground, returning to the same perch. Often flicks its wings.


This species eats mainly insects and worms.


Photo by coastwanderer
Blackhall Rocks, County Durham, England, September 2015

The nest is well hidden inside a clump of vegetation and consists of an untidy bowl of grass and rootlets. It is lined neatly with rootlets and animal hairs. Four to six eggs are laid and there may be two broods.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BirdLife International
  3. The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs ISBN 0723200602

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