Small dark-winged bird found in dry, open areas with sparse vegetation. Frequently seen perched up on posts, telephone lines, and rock mounds. Breeding male is soft brown above and pale below with a tan breast and a jet-black face, wings, and tail; nonbreeding male’s face is mottled instead of solid black. Female is more modestly colored and is gray above with less extensive black on the wings. Beware of very similar female Northern Wheatear, which tends to be warmer-colored, especially on the breast and has more extensive white in the tail than Desert Wheatear. Bright white rump in both sexes contrast sharply with black tail when in flight. The male’s song starts out with brief series of short, sweet whistles, and ends with a mellow rolling note. Calls are dry and somewhat chattery.
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