Mountain Wheatear ( Oenanthe monticola, family: Muscicapidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Mountain Chat

The Mountain Wheatear (Latin name Oenanthe monticola) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 586 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 948 also a picture of the Mountain Wheatear on page 961. The Mountain Wheatear belongs to the family of birds classified as Muscicapidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Mountain Wheatear was called the Mountain Chat

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

Endemic species is one that is confined to a specific country or region. For example certain birds endemic to South Africa only exist in that country. One such example is the Mountain Wheatear and this species depends upon a particular habitat for survival. Destroy that habitat and the bird will possibly be lost forever.

In terms of distribution of the Mountain Wheatear in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Mountain Wheatear : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Mountain Wheatear is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Mountain Wheatear is about 20 cms and its weight is about 35 gms

You will find that the male Mountain Wheatear plumage and colours are different to that of the female Mountain Wheatear

  • Head is grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is brown.
  • Throat is grey.
  • Back is grey.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Mountain Wheatear feeds on the ground mainly




Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Mountain Wheatear is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Oenanthe monticola will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Mountain Wheatear is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Mountain Wheatear are: woodlands . The Mountain Wheatear is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You can expect to see Mountain Wheatear in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Bergwagter

German ... Bergschmtzer

Portuguese ... Chasco-monts

French ... Traquet montagnard

Dutch ... Bergtapuit

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 586

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,