A Conversation for Colours of Wildlife: Familiar Chat

Time's fun when you're having flies

Post 1

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

That delightful little chat is welcome to have all the flies in my house. smiley - smiley

(I'll even throw in a mouse or two)


Time's fun when you're having flies

Post 2

minorvogonpoet

Isn't this classification business confusing?

I've certainly seen both wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) and stonechats (saxicola rubetra) perched on bushes in the English countryside. In my book, they're both included in the wheatear section.


Time's fun when you're having flies

Post 3

Willem

Hi Paulh! Sorry that I can't send any over to you! There is a bird in America called a chat, (at least one as far as I know), the yellow-breasted chat. But it is not a close relative, it is actually in its own family, the Icteridae. It used to be included in the wood-warbler family, the Parulidae. So over there you have your classification changes also!

Hello Minorvogonpoet! If you think the bird classification changes are confusing, wait till you hear what's happening with the plants! All of this is on account of genetic studies. Relationships are far more subtle than outward appearances would suggest. So anyways, yes, this chat is a very close relative of the wheatears, and a bit more distant, though still very close, to the stonechat. Wheatears are just a particular group of chats. Over here we have way-many different species in the genus Oenanthe. Five of them are called chats … they might as well call them wheatears, it's just that they've been called chats for a while so it's tradition.


Time's fun when you're having flies

Post 4

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

The Yellow-breasted Chat has a very wide range across North America. smiley - smiley


Time's fun when you're having flies

Post 5

Willem

That's good to know! Quite a handsome birdy. Chatty, probably ...


Time's fun when you're having flies

Post 6

paulh. reality is a sandwich I did not order

I've probably mentioned this before, but the trailer park where I live is *very* popular with birds. They're always visiting my lot, probably to eat the tasty insects I have. Then they fly along the fences, where large numbers of grapevines are growing (our Fox Grapes will soon be ripe). Last month, they feasted on my neighbor's mulberries and raspberries.

In the winter, they visit the many bird feeders in the park. They can also gobble seeds from the thorny olives, sunflowers, Echinacea, and Black eyed Susans.


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