Finsch's wheatear

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Finsch's wheatear
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Oenanthe
O. finschii
Binomial name
Oenanthe finschii
(Heuglin, 1869)

Finsch's wheatear (Oenanthe finschii) is a wheatear, a small insectivorous passerine 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 family Muscicapidae.

This 15–16 cm long bird breeds in semi-desert and stony hillsides from Turkey east to Afghanistan and western Pakistan. It is a short-distance migrant, wintering in Egypt, Cyprus and the Greater Middle East. The nest is built in a rock crevice, and 4-5 eggs is the normal clutch.

In summer the male Finsch's wheatear is a white and black bird. The white crown, central back and belly contrast with the black face, throat and wings. The tail and rump are white, with an inverted black T giving a pattern like eastern black-eared wheatear, but with a uniformly wide terminal band.

The female is brown-grey above, becoming dirty white below. The tail pattern is similar to the male's.

Finsch's wheatear feeds mainly on insects. Its call is a whistled tsit, and the song is a mix of clear notes with whistles and crackling.

The common name and scientific name commemorate the German ethnographer, naturalist and colonial explorer Friedrich Hermann Otto Finsch (8 August 1839 – 31 January 1917, Braunschweig).[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2019). "Oenanthe finschii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2019: e.T22710292A155608126. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T22710292A155608126.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael (2003). Whose Birds? Men and Women Commemorated in the Common Names of Birds. London: Christopher Helm. p. 127.