Stonechat perched on a thorny bush


Stonechats are one of the few insectivorous birds to tough it out through the British winters. This renders them highly susceptible to cold weather, so they often keep to southern, coastal areas. They make a call that sounds like two pebbles being struck together, which perhaps explains their name. Adults are relatively easy to spot with their conspicuous collars and rusty breasts, and were once thought to possess clandestine powers, inspiring poets such as WH Auden.

Scientific name: Saxicola rubicola

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Common stonechat,
  • European stonechat

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The Stonechat can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Stonechat distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web