Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)

Description

Like most chat-like birds, the Whinchat is fairly small, measuring between 12 and 14 cm in length. Males and females look somewhat similar, with brown plumage on the head and wings, with a rose coloured breast and short tail. However, males are darker overall than females, and have a black cheek stripe that females do not possess. This bird is fairly similar to the Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata), except the Whinchat’s head and breast patch is lighter, and the Whinchat has two parallel white stripes above and below the eye in both sexes, the Stonechat does not have this.The Whinchat is largely a solitary bird, though it may form small family groups in autumn.

Habitat

This bird likes heathland and areas of rough, fairly low-lying vegetation, such as minimally cultivated grasslands or open rough pasture.

Diet

These birds are mostly insect eaters, but will also go for spiders, snails and worms. Supplementing this is small amounts of fruit like blackberries.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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