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Stonechat Bird

Identification of Stonechat Bird

Stonechat Bird 1 Length: 11.5-13cm Wingspan: 18-21 cm Call: "tjak'tjak hweet"

The widespread and familiar chat of open country, a small compact and dumpy species that continually flicks its wings and tail nervously when perched. The Stonechat Bird (male) has a wholly black head, with a prominent white half-collar extending up from the shoulder and contrasting with both the dark upperparts and the deep orangey-rufous breast and flanks. Stonechat Bird has a white band on the inner wing coverts that is often hidden at rest, the mantle is indistinctly streaked brown and blackish, and the rump is buffy and spotted black. Females are duller and browner, with a dark-mottled throat. Birds in fresh autumn plumage look paler and browner, due to the fresh brown tips to the feathers.

Habitat of Stonechat Bird

Resident in western Europe, Stonechat Bird favours open country with low vegetation, from uplands to plains, and is also found in coastal areas. It frequents heather, bracken, rough grassland, stony and sandy country, hillsides and cliffs, and in Britain is particularly attached to gorse thickets. It requires perches such as hedges, walls and fences to use as lookout posts, from which it can sing or scan for insect food items.

Song / Call of Stonechat Bird

Stonechat Bird 2

Stonechat Bird's name could be taken from its call, a dry 'chacking' that is supposed to sound like two pebbles knocking together. This sound is typically repeated a number of times, a "tsac tsac" or "tjak! tjak!", often combined with another call when anxious, a rather upwardly inflected "sweet" or "hweet", such as "tjak'tjak hweet" or "sweet tsac! 'tsac!". The song of Stonechat Bird is a short collection of rather feeble-sounding high-pitched notes, rather monotonous and reminiscent of the Dunnock's song, as in "sii'hew'ichi'hwee'tsiti'chwee'hu'whe et". It typically lasts for about 1.5 seconds and is usually delivered from the top of a bush or similar and occasionally in flight.