Finsch's Wheatear Oenanthe finschii


Justification of Red List category
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 102,000-312,000 pairs, which equates to 204,000-624,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Europe forms c.20% of the global range, so a very preliminary estimate of the global population size is 1,020,000-3,120,000 individuals, although further validation of this estimate is needed.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats. The European population trend is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).


This species breeds in rocky sloping country, and particularly limestone canyons and ravines, in and at bases of foothills and low mountains in sparsely vegetated scrubby semi-desert, dry boulder-strewn slopes with outcrops and clefts, screes, talus mounds, empty gulleys and ravines and adjacent dry fields. In the winter it favours more open plains areas. Breeding occurs from April in the west of its range until to July in Armenia, from May to June in the Caucasus and Central Asia, reportedly as early as mid-February in south-central Asia and May in Pakistan. The nest is a shallow cup of twigs and plant stems, lined with grass and hair and set in a shallow ground depression among rocks or under a heap of stones. Clutches are four to six eggs. It feeds on invertebrates, especially ants and beetles, but also takes seeds and other vegetable material. The species is a migrant or partial migrant and, in the south of its breeding range, it is probably sedentary or makes short-distance vertical movements (Collar 2015).


There are not thought to be any current significant threats to this species within its European range.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within its European range.

Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently needed for this species within its European range.


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Ashpole, J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Oenanthe finschii. Downloaded from on 04/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 04/03/2024.