Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide
Adult Male (Summer)

The male Stonechat in summer has a black head, white flash on neck, black streaked back and a bright rust red breast.


Saxicola torquata
Chats and Thrushes Menu
Common resident breeder in most of Southern Europe a summer migrant to parts of the North. Resident breeder in the UK but a summer visitor only to parts of Northern Scotland.
A bird of open moorland with gorse or low scattered bushes.
Often seen perched on top of small bushes the Stonechat can be a cheeky little bird, calling it's distinctive alarm call in defiance of human intrusion in it's territory. It name derives from that very call which sounds like two stones being knocked together.
Order: Passeriformes

Family: Turdidae

Genus:  Saxicola

Species: S. torquata
Male and female Stonechats feeding
Thanks to: (Modified)
Male Stonechat identification
Rust-red breast
Black and brown streaked back and wings
Short stocky, round build
Black head
Black legs
Stonechat flying
White patch on neck
Small wing bar
Male Stonechat summer plumage
Typical view of a male Stonechat in summer, nearly always on the top of a small bush or fence post. Note the striking black head and rust red breast.
Adult Female
Female Stonechat identification
Thanks to: (Modified)
Male Stonechat winter plumage
Adult Male (Winter)
Thanks to: (Modified)
The male bird in winter is not unlike the female, however he lacks the white throat and is darker in colour.
The female bird is a paler version of the male but with a white throat.
Juvenile Stonechat
Thanks to: (Modified)
The juvenile bird has a mottled breast and a pale throat.