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Saxicola rubetra

Whinchat bringing food to its young. Photo Christer Hangelin.

General information. The whinchat is a small, reddish brown mottled bird inhabiting open terrain. It is a migratory species, returning to Finland in May. It migrates in autumn towards northwestern Africa, occurring at earliest during August to September.

  • Length 13 cm
  • Nests on the ground, often in a tussock
  • Migratory species. Winters in northwestern Africa
  • Feeds on butterflies, larvae, beetles, ants and grasshoppers

Habitat. The whinchat is a bird nesting in fields, meadows, forest clearings and moorlands. It is easy to spot, since the species has a tendency to sit perched in the top branches of bushes or on power lines while scanning for food. It frequently flicks its tail, revealing white spots that can be seen from far away.

Distribution in Vaasa. The whinchat is one of the bird species in Vaasa that dwells near rural settlements and predominantly in southern open fields near the airport and Söderfjärden. It is absent from built up areas, dense forests and the archipelago.