Sunday, 26 October 2008

Cyprus Pied Wheatear

Long time no blog! In celebration of my voyage to Northern Cyprus earlier this month, I will be blogging on a variety of the natural wonders of that country. Today’s post will be on the Cyprus pied wheatear (Oenanthe cypriaca).

Cyprus pied wheatear
Oenanthe cypriaca (Horneyer, 1884)
Muscicapidae; Passeriformes; Aves; Chordata
Kyrenia, North Cyprus
October 2008 

The Cyprus pied wheatear is a small bird related to the robins and chats such as stonechats and whinchats. It is one of only two so-called breeding endemic species of bird in Cyprus. This means that they spend the summer months (up to October it seems) only in Cyprus. They migrate to Sudan to spend the winter. The other bird is the Cyprus warbler (Sylvia melanothorax), which I unfortunately didn’t see.

This bird is a female, you can see a dusky cap with white border (more white in the male), and buff-rufous underparts which are less extensive in males. 

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