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Siberian Stonechat - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Collared Bush Chat)
Photo © by rahil
Sharqiah, Oman
Saxicola maurus

Includes: Stejneger's Stonechat


Subspecies S. m. indicus breeding male
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Sat Tal Forest, Alt. 5500 ft., Uttarakhand Himalayas, India, April-2015

12·5 cm (5 in)

  • Black head
  • Distinctive white collar
  • Black back
  • White rump
  • Black tail
  • Black wings with a large white patch on the top side of the inner wing
  • Dark orange-red upper breast
  • White or pale orange lower breast and belly


  • Brown above and on head
  • Indistinct pale eyebrow line
  • Chestnut-buff underparts


  • Male stejnegeri has less white on rump


Found in Russia and Siberia, Turkey, the Caucasus, the Himalayas, China, Japan and Korea.
Vagrants recorded in Europe and Alaska.
Common in parts of its range.


Male Stejneger's Stonechat
Photo © by bazanbirds
Ganseong, Gangwon Province, South Korea, June 2010

Formerly included in Common Stonechat.


Six subspecies recognized[1]:

  • S. m. hemprichii: Steppes of lower Volga and mouth of Ural River to eastern Caucasus
  • S. m. variegatus from the eastern Caucasus to northwest Iran
  • S. m. armenicus from southeast Turkey to southwest Iran
  • S. m. maurus from eastern Finland east to European Russia, Mongolia and Pakistan
  • S. m. indicus in northwest and central Himalayas
  • S. m. przewalskii in Tibet, central China and northern Burma
  • S. m. stejnegeri in eastern Siberia, eastern Mongolia to Korea and Japan - sometimes recognized as full species, Stejneger's Stonechat.


S. m. indicus, female
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Dist. Gurgaon, Haryana, India, February-2017

Open rough scrubland and rough grassland with scattered shrubs.
On migration may be found in drier areas.


Most often seen in pairs perched up on a stick or shrub. It flies down onto the ground, returning to the same perch. Often flicks its wings.


Eats almost entirely small or medium-sized insects and their larvae. Takes occasionally small vertebrates, seeds and fruit.
Hunts from low perches, flying down to take prey and very often returning to the same perch. Also sometimes sallies for aerial prey.


Breeding season from end of April to late July, starts later (mid-May) in northern Siberia, April to August in the Himalayas.
The nest is well hidden inside a clump of vegetation and consists of an untidy bowl of grass and rootlets. It is lined neatly with rootlets and animal hairs.


A migratory species.


Listen in an external program Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Sat Tal Forest, Alt. 5500 ft., Uttarakhand Himalayas, India
Song given by a male in full breeding plumage.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 10: Cuckoo-Shrikes to Thrushes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334726
  3. BirdLife International

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