Habitat and Ecology
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Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Oenanthe hispanica
Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Oenanthe hispanica
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Status in Egypt
Regular passage visitor, non-breeding summer visitor, winter visitor?and migrant breeder?
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The black-eared wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica) is a wheatear, a small migratory 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 (family Muscicapidae).
This 13.5-15.5 cm (5.6 inch) long insectivorous species is dimorphic with eastern and western races, sometimes split as eastern black-eared wheatear (Oenanthe melanoleuca) and western black-eared wheatear (which then retains the name hispanica). In both forms, birds with or without a black throat are met with.
The breeding male of the western form O. h. hispanica of the Iberian peninsula and north Africa has the forehead and crown white or nearly white, the mantle buff, and the wings blacker than those of the northern wheatear. The underparts are white tinged with buff. The back, upper tail coverts and most of the tail are white. The ear coverts and a line from the bill, and sometimes the throat, are black.
In autumn and winter the head and mantle are distinctly buff, as are the underparts, including the throat, but the buff varies in intensity. Except for the central pair, the tail feathers are much whiter than in the northern wheatear, the white on the inner web often extending to the tip.
The female is a browner bird, but has the characteristic lower back, and her seasonal changes are less marked.
The male of the eastern form is even whiter in summer than the western bird, but as a rule may be distinguished by the line which extends across the base of the bill. Black-throated individuals of this race have a greater amount of black on the throat and face than on the western birds, and the black generally terminates more abruptly or in a straighter line.
It is a rare vagrant to northwest Europe.
- Ullman, Magnus (1994) Identification of Pied Wheatear and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Dutch Birding 16(5): 186-194
- Ullman, Magnus (2003) Separation of Western and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Dutch Birding 25: 77-97