Study Guide: Finsch’s Wheatear

Finsch’s Wheatear – Oenanthe finschii

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

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

A rare black-and-white Wheatear with an all-white back and white cap. The dark facial area extends down to the breast (as in Mourning Wheatear) but the undertail coverts are clean white and the tail pattern rather distinct. Female type birds are drab mouse-brown above and pale below with a dirty grey breast.

Finsch’s Wheatear uncommonly winters in Israel and is a passage migrant in hilly areas of northern and central Israel. Its numbers vary annually.

Finsch’s Wheatear – Oenanthe finschii. © Jonathan Meyrav

Finsch’s Wheatear, Female © Jonathan Meyrav

Where can I find one?

Good sites to search for this beautiful Wheatear are the roads going up to the Golan Heights, the boulder strewn areas of the Galilee, Mt. Gilboa and also the southern Judean hills west of Arad. Finsch’s Wheatear is also a very rare breeder in extreme northern Israel, on the slopes of Mount Hermon.

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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