Stonechats - Western Isles Birds - Birdlife and Bird Sightings in the Hebrides
Stonechat- Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds Sightings - Stonechats - Western Isles Birds.

Stonechats - robin sized birds - that are dumpy.

Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their necks, orange-red breasts and mottled brown backs.

Females lack the male's black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests
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Chats & Thrushes
Latin name
Saxxicola torquata


Similar Species
Stonechats are to be seen in The Western Isles - lovely little robin like birds - the stonechats are slightly shorter and rounder than the whinchats.

The distinctive male in breeding plumage have striking black heads with contrasting white collars, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown is usually a clear are of white on the rump and a white flash on the wings.

Females don't have as black a head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests. The stonechats, are birds with long legs

13cm Stonechats weigh about 15g
Moorland, heathland and coastal areas
Stonechats are birds that feed on insects, Invertebrates, seeds and fruit , caterpillars, moths, ants, spiders and flies, though they will also take worms and snails, and feed on seeds and berries in the autumn and winter.
The name stonechat derives from the sounds the cry is a sharp loud call that sound like two stones being tapped together. It has a series of double notes.
Stonechats breed on heaths, moors, grassland, and wasteland. They build their nests in dense shrubs or gorse. The female builds the nest which is cup-shaped.

She uses grass and moss, The nest is lined it with hair, wool, and feathers. 5 - 6 eggs are laid usually between April to early August. Three broods are common in one season.

The female incubates the eggs for around 14 days. The young stay in the nest for around 12-13 days, but will then leave and hide among stones or grass not far away, only fledging a few weeks later.

Misc. Info
The wings are short, and the stonechat typically perches with a very upright stance They will often perch in very open positions at the tops of low bushes or fences with head upright.

They flick their wings and tail. Males will do this at the start of the breeding season, singing their spring song. Stonechats are becoming more common in The Western Isles with many bird sightings, particularly in The Isle of Lewis. Indeed the species is rising in numbers throughout Scotland and The UK.

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