basic information

Black-eared Wheatear

Oenanthe hispanica (Linnaeus, 1758)

Испанская каменка | Испан тасшымшығы
male aurita

Kendirli-Kayasan plateau, Mangyshlak peninsula
© Andrey Kovalenko


In spring males of Black-eared Wheatear have white under- and upperparts sometimes grey tinged on head and with buffy tone on back. Lores and ear coverts are black; sometimes head-flanks are black too. Flight feathers, wing coverts, scapulars and underwings are black. Tail feathers are white with black tips. Bill, legs and claws are black. Female is brownish above; uppertail are white, underparts are buffy, underwings are black-brownish. Flight feathers are dark-brownish, tail feathers are white with dark-brownish tips. Juveniles are pale-brownish with dark-brownish edges of feathers and pale pre-terminal spots, rump and uppertail are white, underparts are pale-buffy with dark-brown edges. Size: wing 85-89 mm. Weight: 16,5-18,5 gr. There are two color morphs: 'aurita' - with white throat and 'melanoleuca' with black one.


Black-eared Wheatear breeds and occurs on migration only on Mangyshlak from Taushik up to western chink of Ustyurt. Vagrant bird registered at 7 May 1894 on Emba river near Temir river mouth.


Black-eared Wheatear is common breeding migrant. It inhabits stony places with rocks and clayey soil precipices. Time of arrival is unknown. Nest is built in rock, pile of stones or in precipice hole. Clutches of 4-6 eggs are from end April till late May. Juveniles fledge in mid-June. Probably two broods per season. Date of departure is unknown too.


Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca (Guldenstadt, 1775)

Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca 'aurita' (morph)

    Description. White-throated color morph.

Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca 'melanoleuca' (morph)

    Description. Black-throated color morph.


"Птицы Казахстана" том 3. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1970. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005



Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca
(Guldenstadt, 1775)
Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca 'aurita'
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Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca 'melanoleuca'
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