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African stonechat


Common name African stonechat
Scientific name Saxicola torquata
Type Shrubland birds
Status Resident

Little bird (approx 12 cm or 4.5 in). Males with unmistakable plumage. They have an orange-brown breast that tends to be clearer towards the belly, almost white. The head, throat, back, tail and wings are black. Small white stripe on the neck and at the base of the wings. Similar females but with more muted tones and substituting the black for the brown colour.



Where it lives

Typical of countryside and open areas. Borders and boundaries of crops, grasslands, open bushes, pastures and clearings of the forest.

How it lives

Resident all year round in Malaga. Two annual layings, starting in April, of 4 to 5 eggs. Nest on the ground or on small slopes. Insectivore. It hunts on the fly and also on the ground. Very territorial. They usually mark and defend their territory by emitting a dry and very characteristic snap.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Frequent and common species. It can be watched practically in all the Great Path.

Curious facts

European stonechats are typical perching birds. That is, they are usually perched on high points (tall branches, stones, cairns or fences) from which they look at their prey. With fast flights they capture them and return to their perches. They are considered bio-indicators of good agricultural practices because they are often absent or rare in highly intensified crops.

Similar birds
Routes where it can be observed
Wintering Summer Resident Migration