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Mountain Wheatear - BirdForum Opus

Oenanthe monticola
Male Mountain Wheatear
Photo by GarethH
Photo Taken: Suikerbosrand NR, South Africa
Female Mountain Wheatear
Photo by Alan Manson
Qwantani Resort, Sterkfontein Dam, Free State, South Africa

Identification

Length 18-20 cm, mass about 35 g.

Adult male: There are several colour morphs; body plumage may be pale grey or black, and the crown may be white, grey or black. The wings are very dark brown or black with a white shoulder patch which varies in size (sometimes all black). The tail pattern is distinctive, with a white rump and outer tail feathers. The legs and pointed bill are black.

Adult female: Dark brown, with a white rump and outer tail.

Distribution

Graphic by Nrg800

Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, western Swaziland extreme southern Botswana and western Angola.

Taxonomy

Formerly classed as a member of the Thrush family (Turdidae), but is now more generally considered to be an Old-World Flycatcher (Family Muscicapidae).
Placed in genus Myrmelocichla by Gill and Donsker.

There are four subspecies.

Habitat

Mountains and rocky areas.

Behaviour

Food: Mainly insects, but also other invertebrates, seeds and berries.

Breeding: Nests on the ground amongst rocks; 2-4 white eggs are laid June to March.

References

Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 0620340533

External Links

Male Mountain Wheatear - black-bellied morph
Photo by safariranger
Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, Namibia
Male Mountain Wheatear - black-crowned morph
Photo by Megan Perkins
Daan Viljoen Game Reserve, Namibia
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