Whinchat | Saxicola rubetra
The Whinchat is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Muscicapidae bird family group which includes birds such as Thrushes, Robins, Chats, Old World Flycatchers.
The description for the Whinchat (Latin name Saxicola rubetra) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Saxicola rubetra can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 597 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 945. You will find a picture of the Whinchat on page 961.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Whinchat between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Whinchat has a height of 14 cms and weighs around 14 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured black. The Saxicola rubetra has a white coloured throat, black legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are black.
The male Saxicola rubetra has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is black, brown
Eyes are black
Bill is black
Legs are black
Throat is white
Back is brown
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
The Saxicola rubetra forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Whinchat is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 5 eggs and they are coloured white.
The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.
The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.
The bird is found in the African bushveld
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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