|Western race O. m. atmorii|
|Distribution of the Mountain Wheatear|
The Mountain Wheatear or Mountain Chat (Oenanthe monticola) is a small insectivorous passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae.
Mountain Wheatear is 18–20 cm long, and like other wheatears, it has a distinctive tail pattern, with a white rump and outer tail feathers. Its legs and pointed bill are black.
The male is very variable in plumage, although the tail pattern and a white shoulder patch are always present.a white and black bird. The body plumage varies from pale grey to almost black, and it may or may not have a white crown to the head. The female is entirely dark brown apart from the white rump and outer tail.
The Mountain Wheatear’s song is a clear melodic whistle interspersed with harsh chatters. It is monogamous and nests on the ground amongst rocks, laying 2-4 white eggs. It eats insects and berries.
- Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey and Warwick Tarboton, SASOL Birds of Southern Africa (Struik 2002) ISBN 1-86872-721-1