Male whinchat perched on a bush


Chats are a small group of slender perching birds once thought to belong to the thrush family. However, they were found to be more closely related to the Old World flycatchers and have now been placed into that family. The 15 species are mostly insectivores and favour open grassland with scattered shrubs and bushes for cover. The whinchat and stonechat will be the most familiar species in the UK and a wider Europe. Island chat species, such as those found on Reunion and Madagascar, have smaller ranges.

Scientific name: Saxicola

Rank: Genus

Common names:



Map showing the distribution of the Chats taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Chats can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Europe. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

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

Temperate grassland Temperate grassland
Temperate grasslands include the prairies of North America, the steppes of Russia and the pampas of Argentina. Summers here are mild to hot and the winters can sometimes be very cold – for instance, blizzards can blanket the great plains of the United States.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web