Common Stonechat Saxicola torquatus


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red List criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency low
Land-mass type Average mass 13 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 113,000,000 km2 medium
Extent of Occurrence (non-breeding) 84,400,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 55000000-94999999 mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend stable - suspected -
Generation length 2 years - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 5,790,000-9,310,000 pairs, which equates to 11,600,000-18,600,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 58,000,000-93,000,000 mature individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The European population trend between 1989 and 2013 was stable (EBCC 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Afghanistan extant native yes
Albania extant native yes
Algeria extant native
Andorra extant native yes
Angola extant native
Armenia extant native yes
Austria extant native yes
Azerbaijan extant native yes
Bahrain extant native yes yes
Belarus extant native yes yes
Belgium extant native yes
Bhutan extant native yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina extant native yes
Botswana extant native
Brunei extant vagrant
Bulgaria extant native yes yes
Burundi extant native
Cambodia extant native
Cameroon extant native
Canada extant vagrant
Chad extant native
China (mainland) extant native yes
Comoros extant native
Congo extant native
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the extant native
Côte d'Ivoire extant native
Croatia extant native yes
Cyprus extant native yes
Czechia extant native yes
Denmark extant native yes yes
Djibouti extant native
Egypt extant native
Equatorial Guinea extant native
Eritrea extant native
Estonia extant vagrant
Eswatini extant native
Ethiopia extant native
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) extant vagrant
Finland extant native yes
France extant native yes
Gabon extant native
Georgia extant native yes
Germany extant native yes
Gibraltar (to UK) extant native yes
Greece extant native yes yes
Guinea extant native
Hungary extant native yes
Iceland extant vagrant
India extant native yes
Indonesia extant vagrant
Iran, Islamic Republic of extant native yes
Iraq extant native yes yes
Ireland extant native yes
Israel extant native
Italy extant native yes
Japan extant native yes yes
Jordan extant native yes yes
Kazakhstan extant native yes
Kenya extant native
Kuwait extant native yes yes
Kyrgyzstan extant native yes
Laos extant native yes
Latvia extant vagrant
Lebanon extant native yes yes
Lesotho extant native
Liberia extant vagrant
Libya extant native
Liechtenstein extant native yes
Luxembourg extant native yes
Madagascar extant native
Malawi extant native
Malaysia extant native
Mali extant native
Malta extant native yes
Mauritania extant native
Mayotte (to France) extant native
Moldova extant native yes
Mongolia extant native yes
Montenegro extant native yes
Morocco extant native
Mozambique extant native
Myanmar extant native yes
Namibia extant native
Nepal extant native yes
Netherlands extant native yes
Niger extant native
Nigeria extant native
North Korea extant native yes
North Macedonia extant native yes
Norway extant native yes
Oman extant native yes yes
Pakistan extant native yes
Palestine extant native yes
Poland extant native yes
Portugal extant native yes
Qatar extant native yes
Romania extant native yes
Russia extant native yes
Russia (Asian) extant native yes
Russia (Central Asian) extant native yes
Russia (European) extant native yes
Rwanda extant native
Saudi Arabia extant native yes yes
Senegal extant native
Serbia extant native yes
Sierra Leone extant native
Singapore extant native
Slovakia extant native yes
Slovenia extant native yes
Somalia extant vagrant
South Africa extant native
South Korea extant native yes
South Sudan extant native yes yes
Spain extant native yes
Sudan extant native
Sweden extant vagrant
Switzerland extant native yes
Syria extant native yes yes
Taiwan, China extant native
Tajikistan extant native yes
Tanzania extant native
Thailand extant native yes
Tunisia extant native
Türkiye extant native yes
Turkmenistan extant native yes
Uganda extant native
Ukraine extant native yes
United Arab Emirates extant native yes yes
United Kingdom extant native yes
USA extant vagrant
Uzbekistan extant native yes
Vietnam extant native
Yemen extant native yes yes
Zambia extant native
Zimbabwe extant native

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Bulgaria Sakar
Bulgaria Central Balkan
United Kingdom Bodmin Moor
United Kingdom Dorset Heaths and Forests
United Kingdom Exmoor Coast and Heaths
United Kingdom New Forest
United Kingdom West Penwith Coast and Moors

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Rural Gardens suitable breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Urban Areas suitable breeding
Forest Boreal suitable breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable non-breeding
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane suitable breeding
Forest Temperate suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Moist suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Moist suitable breeding
Shrubland Temperate major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Alpine Wetlands (includes temporary waters from snowmelt) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Alpine Wetlands (includes temporary waters from snowmelt) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 3200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Temperature extremes Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Recreational activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species disturbance
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Saxicola torquatus. Downloaded from on 29/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 29/02/2024.