Contents of report
Breeding Bird Survey
Common Birds Census
Constant Effort Sites
Nest Record Scheme
Waterways Bird Survey
What the categories mean
Return to BTO Home Page
WHINCHAT Saxicola rubetra
Conservation Listings Long term trend

Biodiversity Steering Group
Conservation Concern List

UK: Uncertain, possible decline
Status Summary
The Whinchat's preferred habitats were not covered well by BTO surveys before the advent of the BBS, which shows no clear temporal trend since 1994. There has also been no clear trend in breeding performance except for an increase in average clutch size. However, Gibbons et al. (1993) identified a range contraction from lowland England that was probably due to the loss of marginal farmland habitats.
Table of population changes for Whinchat
Source Period
Years Plots
Alert Comment
BBS UK 5 1994-1999 82 -9 -28 16    
BBS England 5 1994-1999 31 -11 -38 27   Small sample
BBS Scotland 5 1994-1999 33 2 -34 59   Small sample
The Breeding Bird Survey is jointly funded by BTO, JNCC and RSPB
Table of productivity information for Whinchat
Variable Period
Years Mean
Trend Predicted
in first year
in last year
Change Comment
Clutch size 30 1968-1998 12 Linear increase 5.4 eggs 5.72 eggs 0.32 eggs Small sample
Brood size 30 1968-1998 42 None        
Daily failure rate (eggs) 30 1968-1998 15 None       Small sample
Daily failure rate (chicks) 30 1968-1998 27 None       Small sample
Laying date 30 1968-1998 29 None       Small sample
Insufficient data on CES
available for this species



The report should be cited as: Baillie, S.R., Crick, H.Q.P., Balmer, D.E., Bashford, R.I., Beaven, L.P., Freeman, S.N., Marchant, J.H., Noble, D.G., Raven, M.J., Siriwardena, G.M., Thewlis, R. and Wernham, C.V. (2001) Breeding Birds in the Wider Countryside: their conservation status 2000. BTO Research Report No. 252. BTO, Thetford. (

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Last updated: 7 August, 2001

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