Study Guide: Pied Wheatear

Pied Wheatear, male

Similar to Black-eared Wheatear but the black facial area connects to the black wings and the back is entirely black. Pied Wheatears have a rather distinct tail pattern with an uneven black terminal band that extends farther up the outer part of the tail than the center. Sometimes the Pied is hard to seperate from… Read more »

Birding Israel: A Study Guide to Wheatears

White-crowned Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucopyga

Wheatears are a fascinating group of Passerines of open landscapes, deserts and steppe-like terrain and happen to be my favorite group of desert birds. Israel’s wide variety of arid landscapes and desert habitats make it a favorite place for Wheatears, and therefore a primary place to begin your understanding of them.

Study Guide: Red-rumped Wheatear

Red-rumped Wheatear is an extremely rare migrant and summer visitor that has bred in Israel only on a few occasions.

Quiz Yourself: Wheatears of Israel

Test your knowledge of desert wheatears with the following quiz.

Answers to Wheatears of Israel Study Quiz

Pied Female Kurdish Male Kurdish Female White-crowned Black Juvenile Mourning Male Hooded Female White-crowned Black Male Desert Male Desert Female Finsch's Male Cyprus Male Pied Male Isabelline Juvenile Isabelline Male Finsch’s Female Hooded Male Eastern Black-eared Northern Wheatear Basalt… Read more »

Study Guide: Kurdish Wheatear

Kurdish Wheatear – Oenanthe Xanthoprymna

Kurdish Wheatear belongs to the red-tailed Wheatear complex, a group characterized by orange, white and black tail patterns.

Study Guide: Cyprus (Pied) Wheatear

Cyprus (Pied) Wheatear – Oenanthe cypriaca

Cyprus Wheatears are closely related and very similar in plumage to Pied Wheatears. Most Cyprus Wheatears are darker on average and creamier buff below.

Study Guide: Finsch’s Wheatear

Finsch’s Wheatear – Oenanthe finschii, male. © Jonathan Meyrav

The Finsch's Wheatear is a striking black-and-white Wheatear with a clean all-white back and cap.

Study Guide: Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear. © Jonathan Meyrav

Isabelline Wheatear is the most common Wheatear in Israel, incredible numbers can be seen on migration and it is also a fairly common breeder in suitable habitats all over Israel, the Negev, Judea and Samaria hills, the Golan Heights and Mt. Hermon.

Study Guide: Northern Wheatear (Old World)

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.

Study Guide: Desert Wheatear

Desert Wheatear – Oenanthe deserti , male. © Jonathan Meyrav

A small Wheatear of the open desert with creamy buff plumage tones. Desert Wheatear is easily identified by its cream-colored upper parts, dark facial area connected to a dark wing and distinct frosty-white scapulars in all plumages. The all-black tail pattern is also unique to this species. Desert Wheatears are fairly common in southern Israel… Read more »

Study Guide: Hooded Wheatear

Hooded Wheatear – Oenanthe monacha. © Jonathan Meyrav

Hoodeds are among the rarest of Israel's "black-and-white" Wheatears, and the species is relatively poorly understood. The Hooded is similar in plumage to Mourning Wheatear but is clearly larger and with a stronger, longer bill. The black facial area extends down to the breast, more so than on Mourning, and has clean, white undertail coverts… Read more »

Study Guide: Mourning Wheatear

Mourning Wheatear – Oenanthe lugens. © Jonathan Meyrav

A dainty and elegant Wheatear with a striking black-and-white plumage. Mourning Wheatear has a dirty-white cap, a dark facial area extending down to the throat and rusty buff undertail coverts, which are the most important ID feature.

Study Guide: White-crowned Black Wheatear

White-crowned Black Wheatear – Oenanthe leucopyga

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.