Wheatear - Oenanthe oenanthe


    Smaller than a Blackbird, this bird is nearly always seen on the ground. The male has a grey back with black wings and a pale orange front. The female is generally buff. Both show a conspicuous white rump in flight.

    Identification difficulty

    This is a bird of upland areas where it breeds but can be seen in fields whilst on passage

    When to see it

    Spring and autumn whilst it passes through on migration.

    Life History

    The Wheatear feeds on insects and larvae which it hunts for on the ground. It supposedly gets its name from a derivation of 'white-arse', referring to its white rump.

    UK Status

    Widespread in Britain though less so in eastern England

    VC55 Status

    A regular passage migrant and frequently seen in Leicestershire and Rutland..

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map