The Whinchat is a bird which is known scientifically by the name of Saxicola rubetra. These are small passerine birds which were classified earlier into the thrush family of Turdidae. But now these Whinchats are considered as Old World Flycatchers. The scientific classification of the whinchat is as given below:
Kingdom – Animalia
Phylum – Chordata
Class – Aves
Order – Passeriformes
Family – Muscicapidae
Genus – Saxicola
Species – S. rubetra
Binomial name – Saxicola rubetra
These birds now belong to the family of Muscicapidae. The Whinchat is similar to the European species which are smaller than Whinchat. These are called the chats.
These birds are migratory in nature. The Whinchat is an insectivorous species. These breed in rough pastures which are open. These may also breed in uncultivated grasslands which are open and can be seen in the Europena countries as well as Asian countries.
Whinchat builds its nest in tussocks. In the winter season, these birds migrate to South African countries.
Whinchat has a weight of about 16 grams to 24 grams. The span of their wings is about 21 cm to 24 cm. This is a heath bird. These birds are similar to the plumper as well as darker Stonechat, which are members of the same family. But these birds have a size which is smaller than those of the House sparrows.
The male bird of the Whinchat species possesses upper body parts with a brown colour where as the lower body parts of these male birds will be apricot in colour. The stripes which are present in the eyes are bold and are white in colour. The lores as well as ear coverts are black in colour with a border of white in colour. The wings also possess a patch which is also white in colour. The legs as well as the bills are black in colour.
The female bird of the Whinchat species possesses the upper body parts and lower body parts with a colour which is similar to those of the male birds, but they will be slightly paler as well as duller. The female birds also have eye stripes which are bold and white in colour.
The young ones of the Whinchat possess an appearance which is similar to the adult female birds of this species. But eye stripes of the young birds are not very distinct as in adults. Another major characteristic of the young birds is the presence of a spotting on their breasts.
The Whinchats sing during the summers on moors. Their song is in a rasping fashion from the low perch.
The major foods of these birds are insects as well as the larvae of the insects. But there are times when these birds feed on berries as well as seeds. The insects are normally found from the ground. But in certain cases, the insects are caught during their flight similar to a flycatcher.
The nests of these birds are built by female birds using moss as well as dead grass. The glossy and smooth eggs laid by these birds are of a light greenish blue in colour and possess a speckling which is reddish brown.