Fine Art

White-tailed stonechat

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Muscicapoidea

Familia: Muscicapidae
Genus: Saxicola
Species: Saxicola leucurus

Saxicola leucurus (Blyth, 1847)

Saxicola Leucurus Print by John Gould and Henry Constantine Richter

Saxicola leucurus, John Gould and Henry Constantine Richter


Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 16: 474.

Vernacular names
azərbaycanca: Ağquyruq çəkçəki
বাংলা: ধলালেজ শিলাফিদ্দা
čeština: Bramborníček běloocasý
Deutsch: Weißschwanz-Schwarzkehlchen
English: White-tailed Stonechat
Esperanto: Blankavosta saksikolo
español: Tarabilla de Cola
فارسی: چک دم‌سفید
français: Tarier à queue blanche
日本語: オジロノビタキ
Nederlands: Witstaartroodborsttapuit
polski: Kląskawka białosterna
svenska: Vitstjärtad buskskvätta

The white-tailed stonechat (Saxicola leucurus) is a species of bird in the family Muscicapidae. It is found in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan.


Very similar in plumage to european stonechat (Saxicola rubicola). The male has black head, white collar and bright rufous chest patch. The back and wings are dark, with white on wing coverts and rump. The key differentiating feature from male common stonechat is the white inner webs of outer tail feathers which is visible when the bird spreads the tail in flight or while landing. Note that this may not be visible when the tail is folded. The female is very similar to female european stonechat, but is overall paler with duller rump, tail and wings.[2]
Taxonomy and systematics

Considered monotypic though there are slight variations in plumage for birds from South Assam Hills (where the birds are darker and large billed) and Pakistan (where chest patch is more reddish). Though sympatric with Asian stonechat in its range, they do not intergrade.[2][3][4]
Distribution and status

White-tailed stonechats are resident in suitable marshy habitats across plains in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, North and Central and Eastern parts of India till South Assam Hills & Manipur. They prefer grasslands and marshy areas with tall grass, reeds and tamarisk. They also undertake local movements, based on water availability and possibly for breeding.[2][3]
Behaviour and ecology

Typical of stonechats, they catch their prey by dropping to ground or making short sallies from their perch. They are generally found in loose pairs, rarely in singles.

Key breeding season is Mar-May when it makes a cup shaped nest in natural depressions on the ground among plants like lotuses or tamarisk.

BirdLife International (2016). "Saxicola leucurus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22710202A94238669. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22710202A94238669.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
Rasmussen PC & JC Anderton (2005). Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Volume 2. Smithsonian Institution & Lynx Edicions. pp. 403–404.
Hem Sagar Baral (2004). "Status, distribution, ecology and behaviour of White-tailed Stonechat Saxicola leucura in Nepal with reference to Indian subcontinent". Newsletter for Ornithologists. 1 (5): 66–67.
Roberts, T. J. (1992). The birds of Pakistan Vol II. Oxford University Press, Karachi.

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