This relative of the European Robin nests across Eurasia, can sometimes be found in small numbers in North America, and overwinters in Africa.
The common name of this bird species comes from the Old English wheat-ears or “white-arse”. It nests in open rocky country across Eurasia, eastwards into Alaska. A few individuals have been recorded in Atlantic Coast states in the USA as well.
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Wheatears are known for their distinctive white rumps and inverted black T-shape on their tails. Males are high contrast with white, grey, black and muted rust, while females are low contrast, more light brownish.
Known in some areas as a pest, the “rice bird” who feeds on rice and grains especially during migration, this New World Blackbird has unique coloration featuring a male with high-contrast white and cream on black.
This is one of the few birds that many residents of the USA know by name… but it is THAT NAME that makes many people in the UK a bit confused. No matter where you live, each version has the classic “red breast”.