Chat (bird)

Chats (formerly sometimes known as "chat-thrushes") are a group of small Old World insectivorous birds formerly classified as members of the thrush family (Turdidae), but following genetic DNA analysis, are now considered to belong to the Old World flycatcher family (Muscicapidae).[1]

Saxicola rubetra 3 tom (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Subfamily: Saxicolinae

About 30, see text

The name is normally applied to the more robust ground-feeding flycatchers found in Europe and Asia and most northern species are strong migrants. There are many genera and these birds in particular make up most of the subfamily Saxicolinae.

Other songbirds called "chats" are:

  • Australian chats, genera Ashbyia and Epthianura of the honeyeater family (Meliphagidae). They belong to a more ancient lineage than Saxicolinae.
  • American chats, genus Granatellus of the cardinal family (Cardinalidae), formerly placed in the wood-warbler family. They belong to a more modern lineage than Saxicolinae.
  • Yellow-breasted chat (Icteria virens), an enigmatic North American songbird tentatively placed in the wood-warbler family (Parulidae); its true relationships are unresolved.

Species in taxonomic orderEdit

Saxicolinae genera not usually called "chats" are:

Aberrant redstarts, possibly belonging in this subfamily:


  1. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Chats, Old World flycatchers". World Bird List Version 10.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 7 February 2020.