Isabelline Wheatear

Isabelline Wheatear
Showing black tail
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Oenanthe
Species: O. isabellina
Binomial name
Oenanthe isabellina
(Temminck, 1829)

The Isabelline Wheatear, Oenanthe isabellina, is a small 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 a migratory insectivorous bird. It breeds in southern Russia and central Asia to Northern Pakistan, wintering in Africa and India.

It is like a female Northern Wheatear but it is larger at 15–16.5 centimetres (5.9–6.5 in) in length, more upright and more tawny in colour, and has more black on its tail. The term isabelline refers to the colouration. The axillaries and underwing coverts are white, whereas in the commoner bird they are mottled with grey. Sexes are similar.

It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2004). Oenanthe isabellina. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 6 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern

Further reading


  • Corso, A. (1997) Variability of identification characters of Isabelline Wheatear Dutch Birding 19: 153-165

External links