Atlas Wheatear Oenanthe seebohmi

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Small thrush-like bird with distinctive black-and-white tail pattern that is striking in flight. Breeding male has a black face, throat and wing, gray back and crown, and white underparts. Breeding female is duller, with a brownish crown and back, and usually a speckled blackish face and throat. Nonbreeding and immature birds are duller overall, though males retain their distinctive black throat. Breeds in the Atlas Mountains of northwest Africa, in areas of bare rock and short grass. Migrates south into the Sahel, where it spends the non-breeding season in a variety of open habitats such as grasslands and barren rocky plains. Tends to stay on the ground or on low perches. Jumbled-sounding song is quite variable, often including whistles, trills, and mimicry. Similar in appearance to Northern Wheatear, though male Atlas Wheatear is usually separated by its black throat. Separating females during migration and on the wintering grounds is usually difficult. Female Atlas Wheatear has a black “wingpit” and front part of the underwing, but this is hard to see in the field.



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