Northern Wheatear

Northern WheatearNorthern Wheatear - Chris Bale

Where and when to see: In grassland and scrubland during migration, particularly in March to April and September to October

Latin name: Oenanthe oenanthe

The Wheatear is a small, 14-16cm long, member of the thrush family. It breeds in many areas such as moorland, coastal grassland, pasture and farmland provided that there are stony areas or rock walls to utilise. Wheatears tend to favour regions further north to breed so having a known breeding pair on Burhou is very unusual. The adult male will have a white underside that becomes rufous coloured higher up and on the neck. It has a black stripe through the eye, black wings and has a grey back. The female has a brown back as opposed to grey and lacks the black stripe across the eye.

Status in Alderney: Rare Breeder and Common Migrant

Status in UK (RSPB Criteria): Amber

Worldwide Status (IUCN Red List and Population Trend): Least Concern; Decreasing