Northern Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Thrushes (Turdidae)

Code 4

NOWH

Code 6

OENOEN

ITIS

  • wgba_banner
  • ibird_banner
  • journal_banner
1 2 3

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2014 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Northern Wheatear has an enormous global range reaching up to 2,302,600 square kilometers. This bird can be found throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and parts of Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. It prefers an ecological system ranging from savanna and shrub lands to wetlands, desert, rocky areas and coastal areas including sea cliffs and sand dunes. The global population of this species of bird is estimated to be around 2,900,000 individuals. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this bird will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Northern Wheatear have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Northern Wheatear: Small thrush (oenanthe), with gray upperparts, black wings, mask, and tail. Underparts are white, and buff-brown wash on throat. Dark gray back and nape. Very active bird, nervous and restless while foraging. Bobs tail and often makes short flights to hawk insects.


Range and Habitat

Northern Wheatear: Breeds in Alaska and parts of northern Canada; also Eurasia. Eastern Canada birds migrate east through Greenland and Europe, and winter in Africa. Alaska and northwestern Canada birds cross the Bering Strait and make a long westward flight across Asia, also wintering mostly in Africa. Found in grasslands, rocky tundra, and barren slopes.

whatbird search for your browser

SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"chack-chack", "hweet"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Northern Wheatear was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae.
  • The scientific name oenanthe is from ancient Greek and means "wine-flower," alluding to the fact that these birds return to Greece in the spring just as the vineyards blossom.
  • This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae in 1758 as Motacilla oenanthe.
  • A group of wheatears are collectively known as a "bowl" and a "shaft" of wheatears.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Northern Wheatear

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X