Heuglin's wheatear

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Heuglin's wheatear
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Oenanthe
Species: O. heuglini
Binomial name
Oenanthe heuglini
(Finsch & Hartlaub, 1870)[2]
Synonyms

Oenanthe bottae heuglini

Heuglin's wheatear (Oenanthe heuglini) is a small passerine bird in the wheatear genus Oenanthe. It occurs in a band across Africa to the south of the Sahara.

Description[edit]

It is 13-14 centimetres long. The adult has dark grey-brown upperparts, a black mask and a white stripe above the eye. The breast is orange-buff shading into the paler throat and belly. The tail is black apart from white sides to the basal half. The uppertail-coverts and undertail-coverts are white and the underwing-coverts are buff-pink.[3]

Voice[edit]

The song is long, complex and includes imitations and the call is a harsh chack.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Heuglin's wheatear inhabits the Sahel region from Mauritania eastwards through Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan to Eritrea. It extends south as far as northern parts of Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Uganda and north-west Kenya. It is found in open country with rocks and short grass and is often seen on burnt ground. Some birds are resident but others make migratory movements.[4]

Habits[edit]

Heuglin's wheatear feeds mainly on insects. It wags its tail and spreads its tail when displaying. Rather shy and in the breeding season usually seen in pairs, small groups recorded in winter.[3][4]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

It was formerly classified as a subspecies of red-breasted wheatear (O. bottae) of the Ethiopian Highlands and Arabia but is now usually regarded as a separate species due to differences in size, habitat and behaviour.[3] Its name honours the German explorer and ornithologist Theodor von Heuglin.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2013). "Oenanthe heuglini". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Oenanthe heuglini (Finsch & Hartlaub, 1870)". Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) (http://www.itis.gov). Retrieved 2016-11-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d Borrow, Nik; Demey, Ron (2001). Birds of Western Africa. A & C Black. p. 612. ISBN 0-7136-3959-8. 
  4. ^ a b "Heuglin's Wheatear (Oenanthe heuglini)". HBW Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 2016-11-27. 
  5. ^ Bo Beolens; Michael Watkins; Michael Grayson (2014). The Eponym Dictionary of Birds. Bloomsbury. ISBN 1472905741. 
  • Sinclair, Ian & Ryan, Peter (2003) Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, Struik, Cape Town.
  • Zimmerman, Dale A.; Turner, Donald A. & Pearson, David J. (1999) Birds of Kenya & Northern Tanzania, Christopher Helm, London.

External links[edit]