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Books about Wheatears

The books are listed in order of publication date with the most recent at the top.

The wheatears were formerly classified as members of the thrush family Turdidae and are therefore included in some books about thrushes.

They have however recently been reclassified as member of the old-world flycatcher family Mucicapidae


Family Mucicapidae
Genus: Oenanthe

In the UK

Northern Wheatear
Oenanthe oenanthe

Rare UK visitors

Isabelline Wheatear
Oenanthe isabellina

Pied Wheatear
Oenanthe pleschanka

Wheatear Oenanthe hispanica

Desert Wheatear
Oenanthe deserti

White-crowned Wheatear
Oenanthe leucopyga

Black Wheatear
Oenanthe leucura

Other wheatears

Arabian Wheatear
Oenanthe lugentoides

Capped Wheatear
Oenanthe pileata

Cyprus Wheatear
Oenanthe cypriaca

Finsch's Wheatear
Oenanthe finschii

Heuglin's Wheatear
Oenanthe heuglini

Hooded Wheatear
Oenanthe monacha

Hume's Wheatear
Oenanthe alboniger

Kurdish Wheatear
Oenanthe xanthoprymna

Mountain Wheatear
Oenanthe monticola

Mourning Wheatear
Oenanthe lugens

Red-breasted Wheatear
Oenanthe bottae

Red-rumped Wheatear
Oenanthe moesta

Red-tailed Wheatear
Oenanthe chrysopygia

Somali Wheatear
Oenanthe phillipsi

Variable Wheatear
Oenanthe picata


Robins and Chats

Peter Clement and Chris Rose

Christopher Helm


"This authoritative handbook, part of the Helm Identification Guides series, looks in detail at the world's 170 species of robins and chats. This large family of small passerines was formerly considered to be part of the thrush family (Turdidae), but is now usually treated as a separate family, Muscicapidae, together with the Old World flycatchers. The vast majority of species are Eurasian or African, with only a handful of species straying into the New World or Australasia. The Australian Robins, although superficially similar, have long been regarded as a separate family. Robins and chats are a diverse family comprising both highly colourful and visible species, such as the robin-chats of Africa, as well as some of the most skulking and elusive birds, such as the shortwings of Asia. Many chats, such as the well-known Nightingale, are renowned songsters, and a good number are highly sought-after by world listers for their extreme rarity or simply because they are hard to see. This book discusses the identification and habits of these birds on a species-by-species basis, bringing together the very latest research with accurate range maps, more than 600 stunning colour photographs that illustrate age and racial plumage differences, and 64 superb colour plates by the internationally renowned artist, Chris Rose."

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Wheatears Of Palearctic: Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution of the Genus Oenanthe

E. N. Panov

Pensoft Publishers


A detailed study of the 14 Palearctic species of Wheatear. Covers a wide range subjects including taxonomic questions, displays and songs; nesting; polymorphism in some species, adaptation to extreme conditions, range expansion, migrations, foraging behaviour, breeding dispersion and on many other topics. The text is supported by an array of diagrams, tables, drawings by the author, and colour photographs of birds and habitats.

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Analysis of Moorland Breeding Bird Distribution and Change in the Peak District

J.W. Pearce-Higgins, C.M. Beale, J. Wilson & A. Bonn

Moors for the Future Partnership


"The 2004 Moors for the Future Partnership breeding bird survey of the Peak District moorlands covered a total area of 503 km2 and highlighted declines for Dunlin, Twite and Wheatear, and increases in Curlew, Lapwing, Snipe and Whinchat populations from the 1990 English Nature baseline survey of the breeding birds of the South Pennines. This report presents analyses of these data to assess the underlying factors affecting bird distribution and changes in bird populations in the Peak District."

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Peter Clement

Illustrations: Ren Hathway

Additional illustrations: Clive Byers and Jan Wilczur

Princeton University Press


"This is the first book in nearly one hundred years that is solely devoted to thrushes, one of the most widespread and well-known families of birds in the world. It treats comprehensively the world's 162 species of true thrushes and covers some of the best-known garden species as well as some of the rarest and most elusive of all birds. It also includes some of the most musically accomplished singers of any bird family. The book contains a wealth of detailed information on identification and distribution, with a full description of each species, including reference to all recognized races. Emphasis is given to vocalizations-often the key to identifying thrush species. Habitat and range for all species, together with information on movements and breeding behavior, are also covered. For the first time, all species in the family of Turdidae thrushes are described and illustrated in full color. These superb illustrations are complemented by line drawings depicting particular aspects of shape or plumage. The 60 color plates comprise approximately 540 images, covering all but one, long-extinct species. The depictions differentiate adults, immatures, and most of the distinctive races. The plates are accompanied by color maps showing the breeding and wintering range for each species. The detailed and accurate text and spectacular color illustrations will make this book indispensable to all ornithologists and birders. This will be, undoubtedly, the standard work on thrushes for many years to come."

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Peter Clement

Illustrations: Ren Hathway

Christopher Helm


Covers the 162 species in the family Turdidae. Includes 60 colour plates which show all species with immature birds and distinct races. Additional line drawings highlight aspects of shape or plumage. Colour distribution maps show the breeding and wintering range for each species. The text includes information about identification, geographical variation, voice, status and distribution, movements, habitat, behavior, and measurements for all species.

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The Wheatear

Peter Conder

Illustrations: John Busby

Helm Field Guide

Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd


This book is primarily based on research on the island of Skokholm Pembrokeshire coast. The main section of deals with the breeding biology of the Northern Wheatear describing nest building, size of nest, role of sexes in the building, size of eggs, clutch sizes, effects of climate and the development of nestlings. The book also discusses the migration of the bird. Includes illustrations, charts, graphs and diagrams.

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Last updated September 2013