Black Wheatears

Black Wheatear, Oenanthe leucura

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.


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.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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