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Passeriformes > Muscicapidae

Northern Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe

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Identification

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Small thrush-like bird with distinctive black-and-white tail pattern best seen in flight. Breeding male is overall pale with gray back and buffy throat, black mask, and black wings. Breeding female is duller without black mask. Nonbreeding and immature birds are bright buffy overall with subtle pale eyebrow and lack contrasting black wings. Note long legs and upright posture. Tends to stay on the ground or on low perches. Primarily Eurasian species; breeds in areas of bare rock and short grass and winters in Africa. Very rare in the continental U.S.

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Learn more about Northern Wheatear from…

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds