[order] Passeriformes | [family] Muscicapidae | [latin] Oenanthe finschii | [UK] Finschs Wheatear | [FR] Traquet de Finsch | [DE] Felsenschmätzer | [ES] Collalba de Finsch | [IT] Monachella di Finsch | [NL] Finsch-tapuit

Finsch-tapuit determination

copyright: Peter Nash

In summer the male Finsch's Wheatear is a white and black bird. The white crown, central back and belly contrast with the black face, throat and wings. The tail and rump are white, with an inverted black T giving a pattern like Black-eared Wheatear, but with a uniformly wide terminal band. The female is brown-grey above, becoming dirty white below. The tail pattern is similar to the male’s. Its call is a whistled tsit, and the song is a mix of clear notes with whistles and crackling.

In continental lower-middle latitudes of shuth-east sector of west Palearcitc, in dry warm temperate and steppe zones. Breeds in USSR on bare clay sands, rocky steppes, and ravines heaped with stones in low mountains, up to zone of pistachios at 1500 m. Oneast coast of Caspian, occurs on rocky footills and on plains, nesting in rodent holes.

Oenanthe finschii breeds in Turkey and the Caucasus, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is large (>100,000 pairs), but its trend between 1970-1990 was unknown. Although no trend was available for Georgia during 1990-2000, the species was stable across the rest of its European range, and consequently it is provisionally evaluated as Secure.

Mainly insects, also some seeds and other plant material.

This species has a large global range; the total size has not yet been quantified, but the Extent of Occurrence in Africa alone is estimated to be 82,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 200,000-620,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

The nest is built in a rock crevice, and 4-5 eggs is the normal clutch. Incubation 12-13 dys, by female only. . Nest site in hole in rock outcrop, among stones, or in bank. Less commonly in rodent burrow, but in sandy desert.

Partially migratory. Difficult to determine status in some parts of range, with wintering birds of unknown origin swelling local, probably resident, populations. Altitudinal differences in migratory status may occur, in south-west Iran, a summer visitor to Tang-i-Shul and other breeding grounds exceeding 2000 m but some may be resident lower down. It wanders to Cyprus with some frequency.