Stonechat

Neil Bygrave (NATURELENS)

Exeter, United Kingdom

Artist's Description

Saxicola torquanta. Devon, UK

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. Although the species is not faring too badly in the UK, it is doing less well on the continent and is of European conservation concern, making it an Amber List species. They can be seen all year round, their usual habitats are heaths, conifer plantations or coastal sites, especially in southern and western counties. They feed on invertebrates, seeds and fruit (eg blackberries).

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bird chat stone

Artwork Comments

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