Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Stonechat sitting on a Bramble

Stonechats are robin sized birds. Males have striking black heads with white around the side of their neck, orange-red breasts and a mottled brown back.

This one is lacking the striking colours and is likely a Female or a yearling. The females lack the male's black head, but have brown backs and an orange tinge to their chests.

Birds are frequently seen flicking their wings while perched, often doing so on the tops of low bushes.

As its name suggests, birds utter a sharp loud call that sound like two stones being tapped together. You can often attract a response from territorial males by tapping 2 stones together to imitate their cry.

They breed in western and southern parts of the UK, but disperse more widely in winter. They eat bugs, invertebrates, seeds and fruit, particularly blackberries as seen from the photograph.

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