Black Wheatears

The Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura) occurs in western north Africa and Iberia, where it remains year-round.


This large wheatear measures 16 – 18 cm in length.

The male’s plumage is all black except a white rump and mainly white tail.

The female looks similar, but her plumage is dark brown rather than black.

Similar Species: 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.

Black Wheatear, Oenanthe leucura

Breeding / Nesting

They nest on cliffs and rocky slopes, where it lays 3 – 6 eggs in rock crevices.

Diet / Feeding

It mostly feeds on insects.

Song / Vocalization

Its song has been described as loud and thrush-like.

Photo of author

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