Northern Wheatear

Oenanthe oenanthe

Northern Wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed on a heavily grazed pasture west of Eldoret, Nairobi, Kenya. November 2012.

From Wikipedia: The Northern Wheatear or Wheatear is a passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae. It is the most widespread member of the wheatear genus Oenanthe in Europe and Asia. The Northern Wheatear is a migratory insectivorous species breeding in open stony country in Europe and Asia with footholds in northeastern Canada and Greenland as well as in northwestern Canada and Alaska. It nests in rock crevices and rabbit burrows. All birds winter in Africa present from October to April.

Northern Wheatear, Oenanthe oenanthe, photo © by Michael Plagens

Another observed at Lake Elementaita, Dec. 2015.

Muscicapidae -- Old World Flycatcher Family


  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 15 April 2013,
updated 24 Feb. 2016.