Wildlife in Italy: Monachella Oenanthe hispanica Linnaeus, 1758

Wildlife in Italy: Monachella Oenanthe hispanica Linnaeus, 1758

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Flycatcher
Kind: Oenanthe
Species: O. hispanica Linnaeus, 1758

The species is distributed quite widely, between the countries of the Mediterranean and Eurasian area: Spain and Portugal, southern areas of Italy and France, northern Africa, the central regions of the Arabian Peninsula and the Middle East; Balkan Peninsula, Turkey, territories surrounding the Caspian Sea, southwest of Kazakhstan, Palestine, Iran and Iraq. It frequents open or semi-open environments in the Mediterranean and steppe climatic zones; preferably occupies environments at low and medium-low altitudes, usually not higher than 1,000 meters above sea level, with some exceptions in the easternmost portion of the area.

Two subspecies are known:
- Oenanthe hispanica hispanica
- Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca

Nun - Oenanthe hispanica (photo

Nun - Oenanthe hispanica
(Oenanthe hispanica MHNT 232 HdB Messaad Algérie by Didier Descouens - Own work. With CC BY-SA 4.0 license via Wikimedia Commons - /File:Oenanthe_hispanica_MHNT_232_HdB_Messaad_Alg%C3%A9rie.jpg)

Nun - Oenanthe hispanica (photo Jose Viana)

Distinctive characters

Length: 13 cm

A bright ocher yellow plumage, in contrast to a black mask on the face that goes down to the throat, is the prerogative of the male; black wings, white tail dotted with dark spots, interrupted only by a white point at the end, instead unite the two sexes.


Insects and other invertebrates make up the main diet of the species, which however does not despise berries and seeds. Chicks prefer larvae, caterpillars and beetles instead.

Video: Black-eared Wheatear, Monachella orientale Oenanthe hispanica melanoleuca (July 2022).


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