Study Guide: Northern Wheatear (Old World)

Northern Wheatear – Oenanthe oenanthe

Northern Wheatear male. © Jonathan Meyrav

Northern Wheatear male. © Jonathan Meyrav

The only representative of the Wheatears with a foothold in the New World, Northern Wheatear is a beautiful Wheatear with a silver grey back, dark mask and ginger tones below.

Northern wheatears are very common and widespread during the migration seasons and can be seen anywhere in the country. During spring, small numbers remain to breed in the high reaches of the Golan Heights and Mt. Hermon.

Northern Wheatear Juvenile. © Jonathan Meyrav

Northern Wheatear Juvenile. © Jonathan Meyrav

Where can I find one?

During the migration seasons Northern Wheatears can be found anywhere, even within settlements and towns. At this time large falls of Wheatears are recorded especially in Israel’s eastern valleys, where hundreds of birds can be seen in a morning.

*Sibley 2000: “[Northern Wheatear] barely enters North America…Northern Wheatears found in eastern North America nest in eastern Canada and Greenland; on average, they are 10% larger, longer-legged, and more richly colored than the birds found in Alaska but are not safely distinguished in the field.”

Return to Wheatear Study Guide.

  1. White-crowned Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucopyga
  2. Mourning Wheatear – Oenanthe lugens (with note on Basalt)
  3. Hooded Wheatear – Oenanthe monacha
  4. Desert Wheatear – Oenanthe deserti
  5. Northern Wheatear – Oenanthe oenanthe
  6. Isabelline Wheatear – Oenanthe isabellin
  7. Eastern Black-eared Wheatear – Oenanthe hispanica
  8. Finsch’s Wheatear – Oenanthe finschii
  9. Pied Wheatear – Oenanthe pleschanka
  10. Cyprus (Pied) Wheatear – Oenanthe cypriaca
  11. Kurdish  Wheatear – Oenanthe xanthoprymna
  12. Red-rumped Wheatear – Oenanthe moesta
Jonny in the field

Jonathan Meyrav

 Jonathan is an accomplished tour guide and the tourism director of the Israel Ornithological Center. He brings to the Nature Travel Network a combined experience of nearly 20 years of desert birding with intimate knowledge Read More

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