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Oenanthe finschii

warning Vulnerable
VU (D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot

Finsch’s Wheatear is classified as Vulnerable (VU) because of the extremely small size of its breeding population, estimated at less than 50 adult individuals, combined with a regional adjustment for the fact that the breeding population in Israel is a marginal population at the edge of the global range of the species. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Least Concern (LC). The change in its threat category reflects differences in the assessment methods between the two editions and not a significant change in the status of the population.
VU Current Regional Assessment | LC Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Rocky Terrain, Alpine Scrubland
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder, Winter Visitor
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Short Range / Partial
Zoography Zones Alpine
Landscape Formations Mountainous, Rugged Terrain
Vegetation Formations Mediterranean Garrigue, Steppe
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Ground
Diet Types Invertebrate
Foraging Grounds Ground
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Habitat Fragmentation

Finsch’s Wheatear is a medium-sized, prominently sexually dimorphic wheatear. The males have a distinct black and white plumage, with almost no grey or brown. The female has brown-grey upperparts, a grey breast and occasionally a blackish throat, reminiscent of the male plumage.

A relatively common winter visitor in the Golan Heights, the Eastern Galilee, the Judean and Samarian mountains and the Northern Negev shrublands. It is an extremely rare breeder on the upper Mt. Hermon. Only 1-2 pairs were recorded in surveys conducted on Mt. Hermon in 2013 and 2014, at an altitude of 1,300 meters.

Finsch’s Wheatear nests on rocky mountain slopes. It winters in shrubland and in rocky or semi-exposed areas on mountain slopes or in desert transition area.

Finsch’s Wheatear is threatened by development work on Mt. Hermon, including roadworks, development of ski runs and other installations.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

Development work on Mt. Hermon should be kept to a minimum and supervised to minimize damage to natural habitats.

  • ישראלי, נ. ופרלמן, י. 2013. סיכום סקר עופות מקננים בחרמון. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

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