African Stonechat ( Saxicola torquatus, family: Muscicapidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Stonechat

African stone chat kruger national park birds.gif The African Stonechat (Latin name Saxicola torquatus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 596 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 946 also a picture of the African Stonechat on page 961. The African Stonechat belongs to the family of birds classified as Muscicapidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the African Stonechat is also known by these other names: Common Stonechat.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the African Stonechat was called the Stonechat

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The African Stonechat is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the African Stonechat in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. African Stonechat : see above distribution map.

African (Common) Stonechat Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The African Stonechat is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the African Stonechat is about 14 cms and its weight is about 15 gms

You will find that the male African Stonechat plumage and colours are different to that of the female African Stonechat

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is black.
  • Back is chestnut.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The African Stonechat feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly





Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The African Stonechat is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Saxicola torquatus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of African Stonechat is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are red in colour and number between 2 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for African Stonechat are: woodlands and grasslands . The African Stonechat is also at home in wetland and riverine areas.

You will not see African Stonechat in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ingcaphe/Isangcaphe

Zulu ... isAncaphela/isAnqawane/isiChegu

Afrikaans ...Gewone Bontrokkie

German ... Schwarzkehlchen

Portuguese ... Cartaxo-comum

French ... Tarier ptre

Dutch ... Aziatische Roodborsttapuit

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 596

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,