Common Stone Chat
(African Stone Chat)

Saxicola torquatus

Common Stone Chat, Saxicola torquatus, male, photo © by Michael Plagens

Fly catching in open areas adjacent to forest plantation and grazing pasture. Menangai Crater, Rift Valley, Kenya. March 2013.

From Wikipedia: The males (left) have a black head, a white half-collar, a black back, a white rump, and a black tail; the wings are black with a white patch on the top side of the inner wing. The upper breast is usually dark orange-red, with a sharp or gradual transition to white or pale orange on the lower breast and belly depending on subspecies. In a few, black replaces the orange breast feathers in part or entirely.
Females (below) have brown rather than black above and on the head with an indistinct paler eyebrow line, chestnut-buff rather than orange below, and less white on the wings. Both sexes' plumage is somewhat duller and streakier outside the breeding season.

Common Stone Chat, Saxicola torquatus, female, photo © by Michael Plagens

Muscicapidae -- Old World Flycatcher Family


  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 28 August 2013,
updated 3 Oct. 2015.