Canary Islands Stonechat (Saxicola dacotiae)

Canary Islands Stonechat

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Muscicapidae | [latin] Saxicola dacotiae | [UK] Canary Islands Stonechat | [FR] Tarier des Canaries | [DE] Kanarenschmatzer | [ES] Tarabilla Canaria | [NL] Canarische Roodborsttapuit


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Saxicola dacotiae AF Canary Islands
Saxicola dacotiae dacotiae
Saxicola dacotiae murielae?

Physical charateristics

12 cm. Restricted-range chat. Males have a black head with a short, narrow white supercilium and throat – the latter continues on around the ear-coverts to form a narrow half-collar. Rump dark, remainder of upperparts brown, broadly streaked with black. Orange-buff patch on upper breast, remaining underparts dull white. Female paler, greyer and features more diffused and blurred.

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 13 cm
incubation min.: 13 days incubation max.: 14 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 14 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Africa : Canary Islands


This species is highly faithful to good habitat. Its main occurrence and only breeding habitat is in barrancos, ravines and rocky slopes with fairly sparse (30-50% open ground), shrubby vegetation.Although they sometimes also venture into more open and arid areas such as malpais (old lava flows with resurgent vegetation), the species prefers copses of palm trees and shrubs.ompletely open habitat appears only to be utilised when gathering food for their young.


Breeding is mainly from January to April, although there are records of nests with eggs and chicks in the middle of December. Average clutch size is 3-4 eggs, with the possibility of two clutches. Nests are often located under rocks and bushes, or also
inside holes or fissures in walls.

Feeding habits

The Fuerteventura Chat is a largely insectivorous bird that hunts from a post site (bushes or stones) catching the prey both on flight and on the soil. It also takes vegetal matter such as fruits. Nevertheless, data describing the diet of this species are scarce
and imprecise. There is a lack of basic information on the type and size of preys that it feeds on regularly, as well as preferred taxons, annual variation in prey consumed (if any), etc.


This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small population, which is probably declining as a consequence of habitat degradation and destruction resulting from development for tourism.
The Fuerteventura Chat is an endemic species to the Canaries’ archipelago, where the species’
distribution range is restricted to Fuerteventura Island. It also have occurred on Alegranza and
Montaa Clara until the beginning of the 20th Century and there are have been recent records from the
neighbouring island of Lanzarote
Canary Islands Stonechat status Endangered


There are few records of any movements. Despite the presence of the species in the non-breeding
season in gardens of tourist areas in Fuerteventura, it seems to be a quite sedentary bird. However, inter-insular movements have been recorded recently as the species has
been observed on the nearby island of Lanzarote.

Distribution map

Canary Islands Stonechat distribution range map

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