Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca)


French: Traquet de Chypre German: Zypernsteinschmätzer Spanish: Collalba chipriota

Saxicola cypriaca


, 1884,



Formerly considered conspecific with O. pleschanka, but vocally very different and species status recently reconfirmed despite minimal genetic differences from O. pleschanka and O. hispanica melanoleuca#R. Monotypic.


Cyprus; winters in NE Africa.

Descriptive notes

13·5 cm. Breeding male is very like O. pleschanka, but shorter-winged and shorter-tailed, with broader black terminal tailband, less white on nape and lower... read more


Song, from relatively high position such as treetop, but also building, boulder or wire (59% in one... read more


Wide variety of habitats, including mountain pine forest clearings, hills and mountains with rough... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including caterpillars. Food brought to nestlings in one instance a small lizard.


Apr–Jul, c. 3 weeks earlier at lower elevations than at higher ones; commonly double-brooded. One territory 3·3 ha, with core... read more


Migratory. Autumn departure involves descent to coastal areas in Aug–Oct (possibly after... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Cyprus EBA. Abundant and widespread, but commonest in hills and mountains (where 4–5... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Cyprus Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca). 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 29 January 2020).