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Whinchat Bird

Identification of Whinchat Bird

Whinchat Bird 1 Length: 12-14cm Wingspan: 21-24cm Call: "hew! tidt'idt'idt"

The Whinchat Bird (male) in spring is boldly marked, with blackish-brown cheeks and crown highlighted by a long, pure white supercilium, and a white bridle separating the ear coverts from the throat. The throat and breast of Whinchat Bird are orangey-buff, fading to white on the belly. The tawny-brown mantle and rump are boldly streaked and spotted blackish. The tail is black with a white basal half that shows in flight as white side-flashes. The female is more demure, lacking the bold head pattern although still with an obvious pale supercilium.

Habitat of Whinchat Bird

A summer visitor, wintering south of the Sahara. Whinchat Bird has a more northerly distribution than the stonechat, and favours uplands and open country, often where damp, with scattered bushes, rough grassland, heaths, meadows, rough pastures, wetland margins, young conifer plantations and bracken-covered hillsides. It nests on the ground, in a grassy cup hidden in a tussock.

Song / Call of Whinchat Bird

Whinchat Bird 2

The commonly heard call is a short descending whistle, usually with two or three hard nasal 'tacking' notes added, such as "hew! tdt'itd', hew! tidt'idt'idt". Whinchat Bird also gives an anxious, harsh rasping "khshrrrr" when near the nest or young. The song is a short and rapid ensemble of notes crashing together, lasting 1.5-2 seconds. It is often started with a few hesitant notes, followed by a hard churring trill which then quickly expands into a flourish of more musical but short notes, such as "ch, ch, wichu-wrrrrrti'wichee'te'wheoo". One variant includes a short jangle, like the song of the Corn Bunting, and it often includes mimicry in the song phrase. It sings from a prominent song perch such as a bush, tree top, or tall clump of bracken, and sometimes in a short song flight when it flashes its tail pattern.