Black wheatear

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Black wheatear
Black Wheatear - Merzouga Marocco 07 3429 (19400616192).jpg
Black wheatear at Merzouga, Morocco
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Oenanthe
Species: O. leucura
Binomial name
Oenanthe leucura
(Gmelin, 1789)
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

The black wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) is a wheatear, a small 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 of the Muscicapidae.

This large 16–18 cm long wheatear breeds on cliffs and rocky slopes in western north Africa and Iberia. It is largely resident and nests in crevices in rocks laying 3-6 eggs.

The male of this species is all black except a white rump and mainly white tail. The female is similar, but dark brown rather than black.

The similar white-crowned wheatear, Oenanthe leucopyga, also breeds in the African part of the black wheatear's range, but the black wheatear has a black inverted "T" on its white tail, whereas white-crowned has only a black centre to its tail. The black wheatear never has a white crown, but young white-crowned wheatears also lack this feature.

The food of this wheatear is mainly insects. It has a loud thrush-like song.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Oenanthe leucura". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 

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