Whinchat Saxicola rubetra   [Linnaeus, 1758]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae
BTO Codes: WC, WHINC EURING No: 11370
Number in Britain: 47 thousand Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
UK: AMBER
European: Not a species of concern
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage Visitor
Subspecies: Monotypic
.
Length: 12 cm Wingspan: 22 cm Weight: M/F: 17 g    
Scientific name from: L.: saxum=a rock + colere=to dwell and Mod. L.: rubetra a type of small bird (not uncertain which)
World Distribution: BREEDS: Europe, nw Asia, WINTERS: tropical & s Africa
Habitat: Open grassland, meadow
Diet: Invertebrates, occ. berries, hunts from perch
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: BirdTrends   
Regional Trends: England   English Regions
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Summer: 47 thousand Pairs in 2009
    First Record: 1678 [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    Latest Survey: Newson, S.E. et al. (2008) Journal of Applied Ecology 45:1330-1338
    Conservation Status: AMBER because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1981-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 GREEN     1996-2001 GREEN  
   Races of Concern:
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    Most frequent in: Moorland
    Also common in: Grass/Heath
Relative Frequency in Each Habitat:
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries
Average Day of First Arrival: 16 Apr
European Population Size:
    Summer: 3.4 to 50 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: Bern(III),Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 19 x 14 mm Egg Weight: 2.1 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 64   (more would be welcome!)
Clutch Size: 5 - 6 eggs 5.57 ± 0.88 (2 - 8) N = 438
Incubation: 13 days 13.06 ± 0.60 (12 - 14.5) N = 438   by the: Female
Fledging: 14 - 15days 13.66 ± 0.85 (12 - 14.5) N = 1441 as: Altricial, downy
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Nest Record Scheme data
First Clutches Laid: 25 May (15 May - 16 Jun)
Number of Broods: 1(2)
See trends in Breeding Productivity
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.470       
Juvenile Survival: 0.340 (in First-Year)  
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 4 years 11 months 19 days (set in 1999)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries

Biometrics

Ring Size: A
Wing Length Adult: 76.2 ± 2.3 Range 73 - 80 mm, N =244
Juvenile: 76.7 ± 1.9 73 - 80 mm, N =667
Male: 77.1 ± 2.1 73 - 80 mm, N =127
Female: 75.2 ± 2.0 71 - 78 mm, N =111
Weight Adult: 16.43 ± 1.52 Range 14.20 - 18.70 g , N =222
Juvenile: 16.11 ± 1.89 13.60 - 19.80 g , N =622
Male: 16.58 ± 1.40 14.50 - 18.70 g , N =117
Female: 16.23 ± 1.53 13.80 - 18.70 g , N =99
Source:
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

 
Gaelic: Gocan-conaisg Welsh: Crec yr Eithin
Danish: Bynkefugl Dutch: Paapje
Finnish: Pensastasku French: Traquet tarier
German: Braunkehlchen Hungarian: Rozsdás csaláncsúcs
Icelandic: Vallskvetta Irish: Caislín Aitinn
Italian: Stiaccino Norwegian: Buskskvett
Polish: Poklaskwa Portuguese: Cartaxo-nortenho
Spanish: Tarabilla norteña Swedish: Buskskvätta
Local Names: Furzechuck

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Urquhart, E. 2002 Stonechats: a guide to the genus Saxicola Christopher Helm, London [598.911 URQ]
See Also:
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Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides