from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small brownish Old World songbird (Saxicola rubetra) often found in open country.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small Old World songbird, Saxicola rubetra, that feeds on insects.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small warbler (Pratincola rubetra) common in Europe; -- called also whinchacker, whincheck, whin-clocharet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An oscine passerine bird of the genus Pratincola, P. rubetra, closely related to the stonechat, and less nearly to the wheatear. Compare cuts under stonechat and wheatear.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. brown-and-buff European songbird of grassy meadows


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • A teenage twitcher and a small buff-coloured songbird called the whinchat were the keys that turned the Iron Curtain's landscape of barbed wire, mined death strips and Kalashnikov-toting border guards into what is probably the most enduring green success story in Europe since the Cold War.

    EcoEarth.Info Environment RSS Newsfeed

  • To my delight, when I visited I discovered several wheatears, along with another passage migrant, the whinchat, all feeding to build up their fat reserves before undertaking the epic journey south to Africa.

    Birdwatch: Wheatear

  • Some greenfinches, a whinchat or two, almost no pipits or larks, and very few sparrows.

    The Naturalist on the Thames

  • They also reminded me of certain notes, which have a human quality, in some of our songsters -- the swallow, redstart, pied wagtail, whinchat, and two or three others.

    Afoot in England

  • The Rev.W. H. H.rbert made similar observations, and states that the young whinchat and wheatear, which have naturally little variety of song, are ready in confinement to learn from other species, and become much better songsters.

    Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection A Series of Essays

  • Over the same period numbers of cuckoos, nightingales, wood warbler, whinchat, yellow wagtail and pied flycatcher also more than halved. - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • How the wheatear and whinchat support themselves in winter cannot be so easily ascertained, since they spend their time on wild heaths and warrens; the former especially, where there are stone quarries: most probably it is that their maintenance arises from the aureliae of the

    The Natural History of Selborne, Vol. 1

  • The trap was full of birds, some fifty or sixty of them, all kinds of birds, from the plain brown minstrel, beloved of the poets, to the merry and amber-winged oriole, from the dark grey or russet-bodied fly-catcher and whinchat to the glossy and handsome jay, cheated and caught as he was going back to the north; they had been trapped, and would be strung on a string and sold for a copper coin the dozen; and of many of them the wings or the legs were broken and the eyes were already dim.

    Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida Selected from the Works of Ouida


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  • Thanks, c_b!

    August 26, 2008

  • Image can be found here. (Attention reesetee... lots of old woodcuts of birds on that URL...)

    August 26, 2008