Mountain Wheatear | Oenanthe monticola
The Mountain Wheatear is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Muscicapidae bird family group which includes birds such as Thrushes, Robins, Chats, Old World Flycatchers.
The description for the Mountain Wheatear (Latin name Oenanthe monticola) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Oenanthe monticola can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 586 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 948. You will find a picture of the Mountain Wheatear on page 961.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
This bird is known as Mountain Chat in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Mountain Wheatear between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Mountain Wheatear is known in Afrikaans as Bergwagter.
The Mountain Wheatear is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.
The Mountain Wheatear has a height of 20 cms and weighs around 35 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured brown. The Oenanthe monticola has a grey coloured throat, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Oenanthe monticola has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is grey
Eyes are brown
Bill is brown
Legs are black
Throat is grey
Back is grey
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
The Oenanthe monticola forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Mountain Wheatear is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured white.
The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.
The Mountain Wheatear is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.
The bird is found in the African bushveld
This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Mountain Wheatear is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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