Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe


Taxonomic note

Oenanthe oenanthe and O. seebohmi (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) were previously lumped as O. oenanthe following AERC TAC (2003); AOU (1998 and supplements); Cramp et al. (1977-1994); Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993); Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993); Stotz et al. (1996).

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass 31 g

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 79,500,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 19,300,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 10000000-500000000 medium estimated 2015
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.1 - - -

Population justification: In Europe, the breeding population is estimated to number 5,280,000-15,800,000 pairs, which equates to 10,600,000-31,500,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). There are an estimated 100-10,000 breeding pairs and 50-1,000 individuals on migration in China, and 100-100,000 breeding pairs and 50-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009). It is likely that the global population falls into the band 10,000,000-500,000,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: In Europe, trends between 1980 and 2013 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline (EBCC 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes
Andorra N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes
Barbados V Extant
Belarus N Extant Yes
Belgium N Extant Yes
Benin N Extant Yes
Bermuda (to UK) V Extant
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (to Netherlands) V Extant
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant Yes
Botswana V Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant Yes
Burundi N Extant Yes
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Canada N Extant Yes
Cape Verde N Extant Yes
Central African Republic N Extant Yes
Chad N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Comoros V Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire V Extant
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cuba V Extant
Curaçao (to Netherlands) V Extant
Cyprus N Extant Yes
Czechia N Extant Yes
Denmark N Extant Yes Yes
Djibouti N Extant Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes
Eritrea N Extant Yes
Estonia N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Finland N Extant Yes Yes
France N Extant Yes
Gabon V Extant
Gambia N Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany N Extant Yes Yes
Ghana N Extant Yes
Gibraltar (to UK) N Extant Yes
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Greenland (to Denmark) N Extant Yes
Guinea N Extant Yes
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes
Iceland N Extant Yes
India V Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes Yes
Ireland N Extant Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Japan V Extant
Jordan N Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes
Latvia N Extant Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes Yes
Liberia N Extant Yes
Libya N Extant Yes
Liechtenstein N Extant Yes
Lithuania N Extant Yes
Luxembourg N Extant Yes
Malawi N Extant Yes
Malaysia V Extant
Maldives V Extant
Mali N Extant Yes
Malta N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant
Mexico V Extant
Moldova N Extant Yes
Monaco N Extant Yes
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Nepal V Extant
Netherlands N Extant Yes
Niger N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Norway N Extant Yes
Oman N Extant Yes Yes
Pakistan V Extant
Palestine N Extant Yes
Philippines V Extant
Poland N Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Puerto Rico (to USA) V Extant
Qatar N Extant Yes
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Rwanda N Extant Yes
San Marino N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Serbia N Extant Yes
Seychelles V Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant Yes
Sint Maarten (to Netherlands) V Extant
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extant Yes
Somalia N Extant Yes
South Korea V Extant
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
St Pierre and Miquelon (to France) V Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands (to Norway) N Extant Yes
Sweden N Extant Yes
Switzerland N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Togo N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes
United Kingdom N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Western Sahara N Extant Yes
Yemen N Extant Yes Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Faroe Islands (to Denmark) Fugloy
Serbia Pašnjaci Velike Droplje
Slovenia Julijci
Sweden Lövsta Bight – Björn Archipelago
Poland Tatra mountains
Poland Gorce mountains
Greece National Park of Dadia - Lefkimi - Soufli forest
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Filiouri valley and eastern Rodopi mountains
Greece Kompsatos valley
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Greece Nestos gorge
Greece Mount Menoikio
Greece Lake Kerkini
Greece Mount Beles (Kerkini)
Greece Mount Pangaio
Greece Artzan reservoir
Greece Mount Krousia (Mavrovouni and Dysoro)
Greece River Axios
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas
Greece Mount Itamos
Greece Mount Athos and surrounding marine area
Greece Tzena and Pinovo mountains
Greece Mount Voras (Kaïmaktsalan)
Greece Mount Vourinos
Greece Mount Kerketio (Koziakas)
Greece Kato Olympos, Tempi gorge and mount Ossa
Greece Mount Mavrovouni, Larisa
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Athamanika mountains (Tzoumerka)
Greece Acheloos valley
Greece Akarnanika mountains
Greece Mesolongi and Aitoliko lagoons, Acheloos delta and Evinos estuary
Greece Mount Vardousia
Greece Mount Gkiona
Greece Mount Parnassos
Greece Mount Othrys
Greece Mount Pilio
Greece Mount Ochi and surrounding marine area
Greece Kalogria lagoon, Strofylia forest and Lamia marshes
Greece Barbas and Klokos mountains and Selinountas gorge
Greece Lake Stymfalia
Greece Mount Koutroulis, Mount Agios Dikaios and Modia plateau, Crete
Greece Rodopos peninsula, Crete
Greece Lefka Ori mountains, Crete
Greece Lake Kourna, Almyros delta and Georgioupolis coast, Crete
Greece Mount Kedros and Kourtaliotiko gorge, Crete
Greece Prasson gorge, Crete
Greece Mount Idi, Crete
Greece Mount Dikti, Crete
Greece Thrypti and Orno mountains, Crete
Greece Dionysades islets, Crete
Greece Kasos island and surrounding islets
Greece Islands and islets of northern Sporades and northwestern coast of Alonnisos
Greece Lakes Chortarolimni and Alyki, Moudros gulf, Diapori fen and Fakos peninsula, Limnos
Greece Kalloni Gulf, Lesvos
Greece Fournoi island
Greece Tilos island and surrounding islets
Greece Mounts Orliakas and Tsourgiakas
Greece Mount Peristeri
Greece Nea Fokaia marshes
Greece Nisyros island and surrounding islets
Greece Mount Kryoneritis, Crete
Greece Mounts Agia Dynati and Kokkini Rachi, Kefalonia
Greece Patmos island and surrounding islets
Greece Islands and islets of northern Dodecanese
Greece Kalymnos, Telendos, Kalolimnos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Mount Falakro
Greece Agrafa mountains
Greece Artemisio and Lyrkeio mountains
Greece Mount Kyllini (Ziria)
Greece Mount Chelmos (Aroania)
Greece Mount Erymanthos
Greece Mount Kochylas, Skyros
Greece Reservoirs of former lake Karla
Greece Agios Efstratios island
Greece Tsamanta, Filiata, Farmakovouni and Megali Rachi mountains
Greece Southwestern Lesvos and Petrified forest
Greece Mount Olympos and pine forest of central Lesvos
Greece Mount Lepetymnos, Lesvos, and surrounding marine area
Greece Gera gulf, Ntipi and Charamida marshes, Lesvos
Greece Paros and Antiparos islands and surrounding islets
Greece Symi island and surrounding islets
Greece Astypalaia island and surrounding islets
Greece Syrna island and surrounding islets
Greece Serifos island
Greece Psara and Antipsara islands and surrounding islets
Greece Samothraki island
Greece South forest complex of Evros prefecture
Greece Dadia - Dereio - Aisymi forest
Greece Ios, Sikinos and Folegandros islands
Netherlands Duinen en Lage Land Texel
Netherlands Duinen Vlieland
Netherlands Duinen Terschelling
Netherlands Duinen Ameland
Netherlands Duinen Schiermonnikoog
Netherlands Dwingelderveld
Netherlands Drents-Friese Wold & Leggelderveld
Netherlands Veluwe
Netherlands Dunes of Schoorl
Finland Eckerö and Hammarland archipelago
Finland Ruissalo
Finland Mietoistenlahti bay
Finland Paimionlahti bay
Finland Oura and Enskeri archipelagos
Finland Puurijärvi-Isosuo wetlands
Finland Rauma and Luvia archipelagos
Finland Koskeljärvi, Vaaljärvi and Pitkäjärvi lakes
Finland Pori archipelago and wetlands
Finland Kirkkonummi archipelago
Finland Hanko western archipelago
Finland Tammisaari and Inkoo western archipelago
Finland Porvoo outer archipelago
Finland Kirkon-Vilkkiläntura Bay
Finland Itäinen Suomenlahti National Park
Finland Artjärvi wetlands
Finland Kangasala wetlands
Finland Linnansaari
Finland Talaskangas
Finland Maaninka wetlands
Finland Ruunaa
Finland Patvinsuo National Park
Finland Viklinrimpi
Finland Koitajoki area
Finland Värtsilä valley
Finland Alajoki
Finland Lålby fields
Finland Kristiinankaupunki southern archipelago
Finland Merenkurkku archipelago
Finland Kokkola and Kälviä archipelago
Finland Rahja archipelago
Finland Rummelö-Harrbodan
Finland Ahmasjärvi lake
Finland Litokaira
Finland Valtavaara-Pyhävaara
Finland Olvassuo-Oravisuo-Näätäsuo-Sammakkosuo
Finland Haapavesi wetlands
Finland Närängänvaara-Virmajoki-Romevaara
Finland Oulanka-Sukerijärvi
Finland Oulu region wetlands
Finland Tornionjoki Delta
Finland Kemihaara (Vuotos) mires and forests
Finland Pöyrisvuoma mire protection area
Finland Lämsänaapa-Sakkala-aapa
Finland Riisitunturi
Finland Luosto
Finland Kevo
Finland Maltio fjelds
Finland Värriö-Tuntsa
Finland Pallas and Ylläs fjelds
Finland Pomokaira-Koitelaiskaira
Finland Saariselkä and Koilliskaira
Finland Lemmenjoki-Hammastunturi-Pulju
Finland Käsivarsi fjelds
Finland Lätäseno and Jietajoki mires
Ukraine Crimean Nature Reserve
Ukraine Udaj river valley
Ukraine Dniprovs'ko-Oril's'kyj Nature Reserve
Ukraine Velykomykhailivskyj forest
Ukraine Lyman lake
France Champ de Tir du Poteau
France Archipel de Molène
France Marais de la Baie d'Audierne
France Vallée d'Asco
France Vallée de la Restonica
France Vallée du Verghello
France Vallée de la Durance : de Tallard à Sisteron
France Plaines de Saint-Jouin de Marne et d'Assais-les-Jumeaux
France Plaines de Mirebeau et de Neuville-du-Poitou
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
United Kingdom Atholl/Glen Tilt
United Kingdom Beinn Dearg
United Kingdom Ben Alder
United Kingdom Bodmin Moor
United Kingdom Creag Meagaidh
United Kingdom Crussa Field and the Heogs
United Kingdom Forest of Clunie
Italy Gran Paradiso
Italy Pian di Spagna and Lake Mezzola
Italy Capri island
Armenia Khosrov Reserve
Austria Parndorfer Platte and Heideboden
Austria North-eastern Leithagebirge
Austria March/Thaya riverine forest
Austria Steinfeld
Austria Thermenlinie
Austria Western Weinviertel
Austria Central Marchfeld
Austria Lösslandschaft and Wagram east of Krems
Austria Allentsteig military training area
Austria Middle Kamp valley
Austria Lower Kamp valley
Austria Freiwald
Austria Northern Kalkalpen
Austria Hohe Tauern National Park
Austria Niedere Tauern
Austria Nockberge National Park
Austria Silvretta and Verwall
Germany Tinner Dose and Staverner Dose
Germany Ostfriesische Meere
Germany Fehntjer Tief
Germany Hamme lowlands
Germany Diepholzer Moorniederung and Siedener Moor
Germany Drömling (Niedersachsen)
Germany Schwalm-Nette-Platte and Grenzwald
Germany Wagbach lowlands
Germany Altmühl valley between Treuchtlingen and Leutershausen with Altmühlsee
Germany Berchtesgaden National Park
Germany Vesser valley Biosphere Reserve
Germany Saale-Elster valley
Germany Ponds and Elbe valley near Torgau
Germany Rhön Biosphere Reserve
Germany Hellwegbörde
Germany Herbsleben ponds
Germany Wahner Heide
Germany Döberitzer Heide
Germany Emsaue (Rietberger Emsniederung - Steinhorster Becken)
Germany Sennelager training area
Germany Ems valley between Leer and Emden
Germany Dalum Wietmarscher swamp
Germany Old Picardie
Germany Esterweger Dose
Germany Jammertal
Germany Leine valley near Salzderhelden
Germany Engerhafer Meede
Germany Fiener Bruch
Germany Military training area east and west of Jüterbog
Germany Rheingau
Germany Rhäden near Obersuhl and Bosserode
Germany South-eastern Alb and Upper Danube valley
Germany Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park (includes the Halligs, Kniepsand/Amrum, Lister Koog, Rantumbecken, Rickelsb
Germany Retzower Heide
Germany Engdener Wüste
Germany Military training area Munster-Nord
Germany Nemitzer Heide
Germany Military training area Munster-Süd
Germany Unterlüß / Kiehnmoor
Germany Military training area Bergen-Hohne
Germany Mittleres Wietingsmoor
Germany Großes Moor near Gifhorn
Germany Georgsdorfer and Dalum-Wietmarscher Moor and Alte Piccardie
Germany Esterweger Dose
Germany Altengrabower Heide
Germany Heathlands of Lieberose-Staakow-Reicherskreuz
Germany Zschornoer Heide
Germany Former August-Euler airfield
Germany Griesheimer Düne and Eichwäldchen
Germany Gohrischheide
Germany Haardtrand
Germany Central Black Forest
Germany Mittlere Schwäbische Alb with Albuch, Härtsfeld and Schmiechener See
Germany Sandsteppe Frankreich near Wiesental
Germany High alps of Allgäu
Russia (Central Asian) Upper and Middle Yuribey
Russia (Central Asian) Lower Yuribey
Austria Karwendel
Slovenia Grintovci
Slovenia Vipavski rob
Ukraine Sinelnikov Complex
Ukraine Khersonesko-Fiolentske coastal zone
Ukraine Serednyotomakivske reservior
Slovenia Karavanke
Kazakhstan Russkiy Zharkol
Kazakhstan Ereymentau Mountains
Kazakhstan Lesser Aral Sea
Kazakhstan Syrdarya Delta Lakes
Kazakhstan North-western cliff faces of the Ustyurt Plateau
Kazakhstan Karagie Depression

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable non-breeding
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable breeding
Desert Hot suitable non-breeding
Desert Hot suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable non-breeding
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable non-breeding
Grassland Temperate suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Sand Dunes suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Sea Cliffs and Rocky Offshore Islands suitable non-breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major non-breeding
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major breeding
Savanna Dry suitable breeding
Savanna Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable non-breeding
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Altitude 0 - 2800 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Shifting agriculture Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Indirect ecosystem effects
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Past Impact
Indirect ecosystem effects, Species mortality
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem conversion

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Oenanthe oenanthe. Downloaded from on 22/05/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/05/2022.