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Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2018-10-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/4000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2019-02-07 6:53
Viewed: 316
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Northern Wheatear or Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) 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 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 spend most of their winter in Africa.

Taxonomy and systematics
Its English name has nothing to do with wheat or ears, but is an altered (perhaps bowdlerised) form of white-arse, which refers to its prominent white rump.
The four subspecies with their breeding range are as follows:
• O. o. leucorhoa (Gmelin, JF, 1789) – northeast Canada, Greenland and Iceland (the 'Greenland wheatear')
• O. o. oenanthe (Linnaeus, 1758) – north and central Europe through north Asia to east Siberia and northwest North America
• O. o. libanotica (Hemprich & Ehrenberg, 1833) – southern Europe through the Middle East and southwest Asia to Mongolia and northwest China
• O. o. seebohmi (Dixon, 1882) – northwest Africa
Behaviour and ecology

The Northern Wheatear makes one of the longest journeys of any small bird, crossing ocean, ice, and desert. It migrates from Sub-Saharan Africa in spring over a vast area of the Northern Hemisphere that includes northern and central Asia, Europe, Greenland, Alaska, and parts of Canada. In autumn all return to Africa, where their ancestors had wintered.

Northern Wheatears first breed when they are one year old. The nest is built entirely by the female while the male perches nearby, sings and sometimes performs song-flights.
The eggs are very pale blue in colour and sometimes have a few red-brown marks at the larger end. The eggs hatch after approximately 13 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and are brooded by the female for the first five or six days. They fledge after 15 days and become independent of their parents when they are between 28 and 32 days old.

Source: Parts of the Wikipedia information

marius-secan, Cobo, ramthakur has marked this note useful
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Hello Peter,
Glad to see your posts again....Thanks for visiting my gallery....
Lovely bird, migrating every summer also in Romania, in my region too.
Excellent details and focus as usual.

  • Great 
  • Cobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 236 W: 1 N: 535] (5799)
  • [2019-02-07 11:01]

An excellent photo and scene of this bird surrounded by a warm atmosphere.
Very good photo and beautiful bird.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2019-02-07 14:36]

Hi Peter,very elegant composition showing the wheatear in the best DOF and sharpness but with a great watch too on the dry scenery at the end of the last summer,very well done! Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2019-02-08 0:52]


Hello Peter,
Well captured this Northern Wheatear. Nice background and well placed bird in the frame to show its natural habitat.
Thanks and regards,

Hi Peter! It's great to see you back on TN!
Now that I have a Tamron long lens, I can appreciate the quality of a bird image it can achieve by looking at your superb image of this bird you shot with this lens in Cyprus.
Thanks and regards.

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