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GALLERIES > BIRDS > MUSCICAPOIDEA > MUSCICAPIDAE > CYPRUS WHEATEAR [Oenanthe cypriaca]


Cyprus Wheatear Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Cyprus Wheatear or Cyprus Pied Wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca) is a small, 14-15 cm long passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family Turdidae, but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher, Muscicapidae. It was formerly treated as a subspecies of Pied Wheatear but Sluys and van den Berg (1982) argued that the form deserved full species status, on the basis of differences in biometrics and especially song, and the lack of sexual plumage dimorphism in cypriaca.

This migratory insectivorous species was formerly considered a race of Pied Wheatear. It breeds only in Cyprus, and winters in southern Sudan and Ethiopia.

This species closely resembles Pied Wheatear, although it has slightly more black on the tail and back, and on the head. The sexes are similar in appearance, a fact first documented by Christensen (1974).

The song is distinctive, and very different from that of Pied Wheatear, resembling an insect. It consists of a series of high-pitched buzzing bursts.

The song-perches utilised by this species are high for a wheatear, typically being 5 to 10 metres above ground. It often breeds in woodland habitats, unlike other wheatears (Oliver 1990 suggested that it occupies the ecological niche used elsewhere in the Western Palearctic by the Common Redstart). It is the most arboreal species of wheatear in the western palearctic and it uses often aerial sallying and perch-pounce-feeding tactics.





                                     



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