Siberian Stonechat? Lithuania (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
These Stonechats were observed last June and July in South Lithuania, close to Belarus border. In July it was already with juveniles, so it is confirmed as a breeding pair.

The question is:
Is it Siberian Stonechat (maura) or Common Stonechat (rubicola)?

Thank you in advance.


  • P1180988.JPG
    919 KB · Views: 84
  • P1180979.JPG
    674 KB · Views: 86


Well-known member
Few more photos


  • P1180982.JPG
    870.4 KB · Views: 55
  • P1190545.JPG
    508.7 KB · Views: 34
  • P1200090.JPG
    810.2 KB · Views: 54
  • P1200080.JPG
    869.2 KB · Views: 43

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
all your Stonechats are well within variation for the default species in Lithuania, European Stonechat.
A more contrasting black and white appearance is normal for this species. In picture 4, I get the impression that the whitish rump-patch is not extensive/broad enough for a Siberian Stonechat, please compare here: and

Two caveats:

Yes I know, that this is difficult to judge because of picture quality here (I assume, better and more picture would be needed to proof a Siberian in Lithuania during breeding season)

The male(s?) in the 2. and 4. pictures can just be within variation for a dull/drabbled Siberian Stonechat, but they would be at the extremest dull/least contrasting end of variation and picture quality must enhancing this in this case here (see here:

Conclusion: its easy to see such a male Stonechat in Central Europe, so I think all can be identified as European Stonechats with confidence

Jos Stratford

Beast from the East
all your Stonechats are well within variation for the default species in Lithuania, European Stonechat.

Not disagreeing with your comments, but worth mentioning there is no default species of Stonechat in Lithuania. Any Stonechat is a rarity and this breeding record was exceptional.


Stop Brexit!
First Lithuanian breeding record? Perhaps to be expected with global warming and a good run of mild winters.

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
I’m not sure why there is a presumption here that these are rubicola? The male in image 2 shows a very wide and extensive collar (typically in rubicola, the collar is narrower and doesn’t extend to the nape). The orange breast patch is restricted very much to the upper breast with the belly, flanks and utcs looking very white - the white wing patch also looks quite extensive also good features for maurus. Given the location, and the difficulties anyway in separating rubicloa/maurus due to overlapping/variation, without clearer images, I wouldn’t like to call this one unless someone can give a good reason for ruling an Eastern Stonechat out - also bearing in mind, June/July birds will be looking fairly worn.


Jan Ebr
I didn't know stonechats had that large gap in distribution in NE Europe & Scandinavia.

Well, looking at my favorite maps at xeno canto, it is clear that those are outdated - we have breeding Stonechats in NE Poland. They are not very common (for me especially since I stopped confusing the English name with Whinchats :)) but are decidedly present, so it's not that suprising that they now spread into Lithuania as well. I think we had a discussion about this with Jos earlier and that actually made me pay more attention to them in NE Poland.


Bah humbug
Crossed my mind that a range expansion (an outlier even) of 1000/s of miles would be extraordinary, whereas a range expansion of 100's of miles somewhat less so.

There are records of eg waders from outside the area in the WP breeding, but any precedent for passerines or even Siberian species?


Stop Brexit!
Siberian Stonechat has hybridised with Whinchat in Finland; don't need to go much further east to get in their main breeding range.

Users who are viewing this thread