Steinschmätzer / Northern wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)

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Male northern wheatear, photo by Andreas Trepte - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5 Quelle: WIKIPEDIA
Systematik: Gattung Oenanthe; Familie Schnäpperverwandte (Muscicapidae)
Dieser Vogel erscheint jenseits grossen Meere in Kontinenten : Europa, Nordamerika, Afrika.
General: I thought after seeing these at over 2700 meters that they must be a typical mountain bird (and in the FOK Zurich materials they were in the mountain section), however Wikipedia explains that such a stony landscape is the key, whether that is high or not:
Geography: The northern wheatear is a migratory insectivorous species breeding in open stony country in Europe and east across the Palearctic with footholds in northeastern Canada and Greenland as well as in northwestern Canada and Alaska. It nests in rock crevices and rabbit burrows. All birds spend most of their winter in Africa. ... Miniature tracking devices have recently shown that the northern wheatear has one of the longest migratory flights known - 30,000 km (18,640 miles), from sub-Saharan Africa to their Arctic breeding grounds.[15] [Link]
Strangely the residence and migration maps differ greatly by source: in Wikipedia the northern wheatear spends winter in subsaharan Africa, while the authoratitive Kosmos-Vogelführer shows some in northern Africa like Morocco. Most other sources agree with Wikipedia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
I thought the German name Steinschmätzer, presumably stone kisser (no one explains it, oddly enough) to be much more logical than the English northern wheatear. I was greatly amused to look it up and find it to be a 'folk etymology of "white" and "arse"' (Wikipedia).
Etymologie: The genus name Oenanthe is derived from the Greek oenos (οίνος) "wine" and anthos (ανθός) "flower". It refers to the northern wheatear's return to Greece in the spring just as the grapevines blossom. [Link]
Hat einen boese aussehenden schwarzen Augenstreifen wie ein Red-backed shrike (den Nici Baiker im FOK Feldornithologiekurs als Zorro-look beschrieben hat). Auf Muottas Muragl habe ich beim Fliegen den typischen runden grauen Oval umgeben bei dunklen Federn gesehen, und bin so auf Steinschmätzer gekommen. Ich habe das schwarze T-Muster nicht gesehen, die ueberall erwaehnt wird aber nie gezeigt - ich habe ein Foto erst ueber Google gefunden.
In den FOK Unterlagen werden die Zugrouten von Alaska und von nordosten Kanada gezeigt, die beide fuer Winter nach Afrika ziehen. Die aus Alaska fliegen ueber Asien unglaubliche 15000 Kilometer! Die in Kanada haben es auch nicht leicht, da sie zuerst ueber den Atlantik nach Spanien fliegen!
Vokalisierung: Each phrase is often introduced by the "weet" sound, then followed by hastened, creaking, rattling and warbling sounds of 1-2 seconds duration. [Link]
Gesang: Kurze, wechselvolle Strophe mit vielen unreinen Tönen. Meist von erhöhter Warte aus oder in kurzem Singflug vorgetragen. [Link]
The Wheatear song consists of short phrases with marked pauses. The "check" sound is also often included in the song. [Link]
Rufe: „Tschack“ auch „hiit“ (saugend) [Link]
Contact and alarm call a high pitched, sharp "weet", followed by a hard "check", like hitting two rocks together. The "weet" sound is much sharper than the similar sound in Whinchat and Stonechat. Wheater usually repeats the "weet" sound more frequently than the "check" sound. The "check" of Stonechat is less pure and more gritty. [Link]
Körperlich: Länge=14-15 cm, Flügelspanne=26-32 cm, Gewicht=18-29 g
Zuerst dokumentierte Beobachtung : 2021-07-29


Female northern wheatear, photo by Andreas Trepte - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5 Quelle: WIKIPEDIA

Here a rare picture, by Frederic Peisy from, showing the famous black T-pattern on its tail and the grey-black wing pattern I used to identify them on Muottas Muragl.

Steinschmaetzer lej muragl. 2021-07-29 13.13.46 Lej muragl

Northern wheatear world distribution Quelle: WIKIPEDIA

Weitere Bilder

Steinschmaetzer lej muragl, guter Blick auf Rueckenfedern. 2021-07-29 13.38.44 Engadin

Junger steinschmaetzer lej muragl, ahnung von einem Augenstreifen. 2021-07-29 13.25.10 Engadin

Steinschmaetzer lej muragl. 2021-07-29 13.19.42 Engadin

Steinschmaetzer lej muragl. 2021-07-29 13.19.24 Engadin

Weitere Aufnahmen

♫ Quelle: BirdNet 2021-07-29 13.07.31 Lej muragl (Gesang?)