|Habitats||Rocky Terrain, Mediterranean Batha, Semi-desert Batha|
|Presence In Israel||Summer Breeder, Migrant|
|Nesting In Israel||Breeder|
|Migration Types||Long Range|
|Zoography Zones||Mediterranean, Irano-Turanian|
|Landscape Formations||Mountainous, Rugged Terrain|
|Vegetation Densities||Low, Medium|
|Body Sizes||Small (up to 500g)|
|Threat Factors||Plantations, Wildfires, Habitat Desctruction, Habitat Fragmentation|
The Black-eared Wheatear is the only wheatear that summers and breeds in northern and central Israel (with the exception of the Mt. Hermon heights, where other wheatear species breed). It is conspicuous with its contrasting black-white plumage, territorial behavior and loud song. It is sexually dimorphic – the males have a very contrasting plumage with a white or yellowish crown, back and belly, contrasting with the black wings and cheeks; some of the individuals have black throats. The females are brown-gray with white only on their tails.
Inhabits rocky shrubland, often in cliff walls, at the edge of quarries and in areas undergoing development and soil stripping.
The Black-eared Wheatear is in continuous, gradual decline in Israel and in Eastern Europe for the past two decades. The decline is not uniform throughout its breeding range in Israel – in some areas it has completely disappeared, while in other areas, such as Eastern Samaria and the Mt. Hermon slopes there are still dense nesting areas.
The Black-eared Wheatear is threatened by development, destruction and modification of shrublands and their conversion to settlements and planted forests. In the Judean Lowlands, Eastern Lakhish and Western Samaria it has been impacted by frequent wildfires started by army training exercises. In addition, the species is also apparently affected by desertification processes and overexploitation in its wintering and migration areas.
No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.
The Black-eared Wheatear is a migrating species classified as Endangered because of the decline in its population size and range. During the past two decades, it has disappeared from extensive areas in Western Samaria, the Carmel and the Galilee. The major factors threatening the species in Israel are the continued reduction of uninterrupted shrubland areas and their quality, and also desertification processes and overexploitation of habitats in the species’ wintering range and along its migration route.
Educational activities in army units to reduce wildfire incidents.
Expanding firebreaks to prevent fire expansion.
Restricting afforestation in shrublands.
Protecting continuous shrubland areas from construction and development.
- ישראלי, נ. ופרלמן, י. 2013. סיכום סקר עופות מקננים בחרמון. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
- מירוז, א. 2008. סיכום סקר ציפורים בשמורת סנסן אביב 2008. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים ומרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
- מירוז, א. 2013. סיכום סקר ציפורים במזרח לכיש, אביב 2013. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
- מירוז, א. ושוחט, א. 2014. סיכום סקר ציפורים סביב היישוב נטע במזרח לכיש – 2014. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
- מירוז, א., 2007 . סיכום סקר ציפורים בגבעות גומר. דו"ח עבור רשות הטבע והגנים.
- פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
- Shirihai, H., 1996. The Birds of Israel. Academic Press, London.
- Shochat, E., Abramski, Z., Pinshow, B., 2001. Breeding bird species diversity in the Negev: Effects of Scrub Fragmentation by planted forests. Journal of Applied Ecology, 38, 1135-1147.
- Symes, A. 2013. Species generation lengths. Unpublished, BirdLife International.
- Species page at Birdlife International
Current Occupancy Map
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.