Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Buff-rumped Wheatear (Oenanthe moesta)


French: Traquet à tête grise German: Fahlbürzel-Steinschmätzer Spanish: Collalba culirroja
Other common names: Red-rumped Wheatear

Saxicola moesta

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

between Bir Hamam and Gassr Eschtaebi, Egypt


Varies clinally in colour and size across N Africa, from large, dark birds in W (described as race theresae) to smaller, paler, greyer ones in Egypt; birds E from NE Egypt (Sinai) named as race brooksbanki, but distinctions very slight and/or inconstant, and some probably clinal. Treated as monotypic.


N Africa from Western Sahara E to NE Egypt (Sinai), and from S Syria S to C & E Jordan and S Israel (where rare), with no recent records in W Iraq; non-breeding also C Arabia.

Descriptive notes

14·5–16 cm. Breeding male is pale grey on crown to nape, shading to black on mantle, with white forehead through supercilium to rear ear-coverts, black face (... read more


Song, apparently by both sexes (male thought to perform more), a series of phrases each lasting 6... read more


Breeds in bush-clad desert fringes and flat dry saline steppe with low plant cover including ... read more

Food and feeding

In N Africa beetles, caterpillars up to 5 cm, grasshoppers, ants, and occasionally green plant material. Most items brought by one pair to... read more


Late Jan to early Jun, mainly Apr and early May, in Morocco; late Feb to mid-Jun in Algeria; Mar–Apr in Sinai; Feb–Mar (first... read more


Sedentary and partial local migrant. Main periods of movement Aug–Sept and Feb–Apr; in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. In N Africa patchily distributed but locally common; in Morocco distributed in three separate areas, in each of which common. Rather scarce in... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Buff-rumped Wheatear (Oenanthe moesta). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).