Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Hume's Wheatear (Oenanthe albonigra)


French: Traquet de Hume German: Schwarzkopf-Steinschmätzer Spanish: Collalba de Hume

Saxicola Alboniger

A. O. Hume

, 1872,

stony hills which divide Kelat from Sind … and Mekran Coast, Pakistan




E Iraq and Iran (except N) E to S & E Afghanistan, N & W Pakistan and SE Arabia (United Arab Emirates and N Oman).

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 22–28 g. Male is glossy black with white lower back to tail, latter with black central feathers and broad terminal band; flight-feathers black; white breast to... read more


Song, ­apparently only by male, a series of short, loud, far-carrying, melodious phrases,... read more


Rocky desert mountainsides, steep valleys and foothill slopes, especially boulders and rubble at... read more

Food and feeding

Invertebrates, small lizards and seeds. In SW Iran, 36 birds had taken mostly beetles (in 89% of stomachs) and ants (in 81%); of total of... read more


Jan–Apr in UAE; food-carrying and fledged young Feb–Jul in Oman; at least Mar–May (fledglings from second half Apr and... read more


Mainly sedentary; some altitudinal movement and possibly nomadism. Some move outside breeding area... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. One of commonest wheatears in Iran, and the most frequent one in mountains of S. Common in UAE, where estimated population 1000–10,000 pairs;... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Hume's Wheatear (Oenanthe albonigra). 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 27 January 2020).