Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Red-tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe chrysopygia)


French: Traquet à queue rousse German: Kaukasussteinschmätzer Spanish: Collalba afgana
Other common names: Rusty-tailed Wheatear, Persian Wheatear

Dromolaea chrysopygia

De Filippi

, 1863,

Damavand, north-central Iran


Previously treated as conspecific with O. xanthoprymna (see below). Birds breeding from Afghanistan to Pamirs have been separated as race kingi, on grounds of slightly paler plumage, but differences very minor, not warranting recognition. Monotypic.


NE Turkey, S Armenia, Azerbaijan and much of Iran E to S Turkmenistan, S Tajikistan (Pamir range), Afghanistan and extreme W Pakistan; non-breeding Arabian Peninsula, S Iraq, S Iran, E Afghanistan, Pakistan and NW India.

Descriptive notes

14·5 cm; 18–29 g. Plumage is greyish-brown from crown to back, with blackish lores to eye, buff preocular super­cilium and mid-grey postocular supercilium... read more


Song, by male, a series of short simple phrases separated by short pauses (sometimes pauses reduced... read more


Breeds on gently angled to steep arid rocky and stony slopes and screes with scattered boulders,... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly invertebrates, chiefly ants and beetles; some plant matter. Animal food includes adult and larval beetles of at least eleven... read more


Apr–Jul in Caucasus and Iran, mostly from mid-May farther E; fledged young common and nest-building mid-Jun in S Tadjikistan; Apr... read more


Mainly migratory. Altitudinal and short-distance migrant in Afghanistan. Present N Iran until early... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally fairly rare in many parts of range. Uncommon in Armenia, where listed as threatened owing to narrow range and unknown... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Red-tailed Wheatear (Oenanthe chrysopygia). 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 28 February 2020).