Study Guide: White-crowned Black Wheatear

White-crowned Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucopyga

White-crowned Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucopyga

White-crowned Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucopyga. Male. © Jonathan Meyrav

A large and impressive Wheatear with a distinct black-and-white plumage. White-crowned is the only Wheatear in Israel with black underparts and adult birds are unmistakable with their strongly contrasting snow-white cap. Young birds lack the white cap although close scrutiny always reveals a few white feathers, even without the cap, no other Wheatear in Israel is all dark below.

White-crowned Black Wheatear Juvenile

White-crowned Black Wheatear, Juvenile © Jonathan Meyrav

White-crowned Black Wheatears are strongly affiliated with cliffs and sloping escarpments and can be found in most desert habitats in southern Israel.

Where can I find one?

The Dead Sea and Judean Desert Wadis and canyons; Wadis of the Arava-Valley; and the Eilat Mountains. In recent years WCB Wheatears have grown accustomed to human pressence and can now be found very close to, and even within, human settlements in southern Israel. The total population of White-crowned Black Wheatears in Israel is estimated at around 500 pairs.

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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