Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Somali Wheatear (Oenanthe phillipsi)


French: Traquet de Somalie German: Somalisteinschmätzer Spanish: Collalba somalí

Saxicola phillipsi


, 1885,

mountains near Berbera, Somalia


Has been treated as race of O. oenanthe, but genetic data counterindicate any close relationship. Monotypic.


N & C Somalia (S to c. 4° N) and SE Ethiopia (Somali Region).

Descriptive notes

14 cm. Male is bluish-grey from crown to back and scapulars, with narrow white line from above bill to behind ear-coverts, white line between scapulars and black wings, black... read more


Song unknown. Calls include sharp metallic click, repeated low long whistle, and double buzz... read more


Open stony ground, semi-desert, light bush, grassland and burnt-grass areas; mainly at 600–... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including grasshoppers, beetles, ants, mantises and larvae. Forages by scanning from perch and flying down to terrestrial prey.


Apr–Jun. Nest made of grass and hair, placed on ground under bush, rock or fallen branch. Eggs 3–4, turquoise-blue with reddish... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common.

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Somali Wheatear (Oenanthe phillipsi). 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 23 January 2020).