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Species Guide
A photo of a Buff-streaked Chat (Campicoloides bifasciatus), male
Buff-streaked Chat, Male

Buff-streaked Chat

Campicoloides bifasciatus

The pied bush chat (Saxicola caprata) is a small, dapper passerine bird, a resident breeder across tropical southern Asia from the Middle East to Southeast Asia. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism: males are characterized by their striking black and white plumage, while females and juveniles are predominantly brown with a less conspicuous appearance.

Identification Tips

Males of the species are easily identified by their black bodies contrasted with white shoulder patches, rump, and lower belly. The extent of the white varies among populations. Females are drab brown with a slight streaking, and juveniles have a scaly appearance on the underside but are darker above, resembling the females.


The pied bush chat favors open habitats such as countryside, scrub, grassland, and areas of cultivation. It is often seen perched atop short thorn trees or shrubs in these environments.


This bird's range is extensive, from West and Central Asia through the Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia, with some populations showing partial migratory behavior. It has also colonized Papua New Guinea since around 1950.


The pied bush chat is known for its upright stance and for perching conspicuously while hunting for insect prey, which it mainly picks up from the ground. During the breeding season, males sing from prominent perches to establish territory and attract mates.

Song & calls

The male's song is a melodious whistle, reminiscent of an Indian robin, and has been described as a musical "we are tea for two," with the "tea" note being higher.


Breeding season peaks from March to June, with nests typically built in cavities within stone walls or embankments, lined with grass and animal hair. The female lays two to five eggs, which are incubated primarily by her for about 12 to 13 days.

Similar Species

The Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus) is similar in size and structure but can be distinguished by the pied bush chat's unique coloration and distribution.

Diet and Feeding

An insectivorous bird, the pied bush chat hunts from a low perch and has been observed feeding on various insects, including Pyralid moths and whiteflies.

Conservation status

The pied bush chat is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating that it is not currently at significant risk of widespread decline.

Buff-streaked Chat Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Buff-streaked Chats on Birda


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