White-tailed stonechat

White-tailed stonechat

White-tailed stonechat

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Saxicola leucurus

The white-tailed stonechat (Saxicola leucurus ) is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae.It is found in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.


Very similar in plumage to european stonechat (Saxicola rubicola ). The male has black head, white collar and bright rufous chest patch. The back and wings are dark, with white on wing coverts and rump. The key differentiating feature from male common stonechat is the white inner webs of outer tail feathers which is visible when the bird spreads the tail in flight or while landing. Note that this may not be visible when the tail is folded. The female is very similar to female european stonechat, but is overall paler with duller rump, tail and wings.



Biogeographical realms

White-tailed stonechats are resident in suitable marshy habitats across plains in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, North and Central and Eastern parts of India till South Assam Hills & Manipur. They prefer grasslands and marshy areas with tall grass, reeds and tamarisk. They also undertake local movements, based on water availability and possibly for breeding.

Habits and Lifestyle

Typical of stonechats, they catch their prey by dropping to ground or making short sallies from their perch. They are generally found in loose pairs, rarely in singles.

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Key breeding season is Mar-May when it makes a cup shaped nest in natural depressions on the ground among plants like lotuses or tamarisk.

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Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition



1. White-tailed stonechat Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-tailed_stonechat
2. White-tailed stonechat on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22710202/94238669
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/686239

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