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The European Stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is of the chat family Muscicapidae which is in the genus Saxicola. Preferred habitats include rough grassland, sand dunes and heathland where it is typically seen perched on brambles, gorse or shrubs within the breeding area.
In the temperate part of its range, nesting commences in late March and up to three broods are raised. It is a partial migrant. Populations from the colder regions move to spend the winter in southern Europe and northern Africa. Successive hard winters, as was the case in 2009/10 and 2010/11 caused severe losses in the mainly sedentary northwestern populations.
There are two subspecies generally recognised:
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
Tuesday, 9 December 2014
EUROPEAN STONECHAT (Saxicola rubicola ssp. s. r. hibernans) male Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland
Labels: Baltimore, Birds of Cape Clear Island, Birds of Cork, Birds of Europe, Birds of Ireland, Cape Clear Island, Co. Cork, European Stonechat, Ireland, passerine, Saxicola rubicola, stonechats