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Reunion Stonechat - BirdForum Opus

Saxicola tectes
Photo © by Dave Clark
Mafat Cirque, Reunion Island, Mascarene Islands, Africa, May, 2019


12.5 cm. A very variable Chat, resembling Canary Islands Stonechat in all plumages.


  • Head either all black or with white supercilium
  • Rufous-orange on breast, amount highly variable
  • White rest of underparts
  • Dark brown to black upperparts, white patches in wing
  • Some males resemble females, even during breeding season


Juveniles are heavily mottled below.


Endemic to Réunion.
A common restricted-range species.


This is a monotypic species.
It's sometimes considered conspecific with African Stonechat.


Open mountain bushlands and clearings. Commonest in tamarind and mixed evergreen forest with open meadows and clearings.
Occurs above 800 to 900 m in the north and northeast of the island, above 300 m in the south, commonest above 1200 m.



Feeds on small invertebrates like caterpillars and other larvae. Also seen taking a small gecko and fruits.
Forages by hawking insects from rocks, low branches or heath bushes, taking its prey from the ground.


Breeding season from mid-October to late January. The nest is made of mosses, leaves, stems and animal hair. It's placed on the ground, in tuft of vegetation or on a vegetated bank, also 1 to 2 m above the ground on a low bough or in a crevice in a trunk. Lays 2 to 3 eggs.


Occasionally seen at lower altitudes outside breeding season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Collar, N. (2020). Reunion Stonechat (Saxicola tectes), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.reusto1.01

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