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Oenanthe finschii

warning Vulnerable
VU (D1)

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot
Update Time: Jan. 1, 2011, 7:39 a.m.

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 Global Assessment

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

Current occupancy map by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
0 0 0 0 0

Distribution maps

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

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values in the current decade as determined from experts' opinion and observations from databases.

Relative Abundance 2010-2020 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
8 12 12 21 19

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Density values based primarily on the book The Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Relative Abundance 1980-1990 by density
Data Missing Sporadic Limited Sites Low Density High Density
5 14 14 17 22

Occupancy 1990-2020

The map shows differences in the species breeding distribution between the 1980's breeding map and the current weighted breeding evaluation. Negative value - species previously bred in the grid and is not presently breeding; positive value - species has not previously bred in the grid and is currently breeding.

Occupancy 1990-2020
Data Missing No Change Occupancy Increase Occupancy Decrease
6 35 1 9

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020

The map shows the changes in the relative abundance of a species in each of the distribution grids between the breeding map of the 1980s and the weighted current breeding evaluation. Negative values - decline in abundance; positive values - increase in abundance; zero - no change in abundance.

Change in Relative Abundance 1990-2020
80 to 100 50 20 to 30 No Change 30- to 20- 50- 100- to 80- Data Missing
0 4 2 22 12 14 11 16

Red number
IUCN category
Threat Definition according to the red book
() districts
% of protected sites

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