Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Northern Wheatear on Copeland Island in May

I am posting a few posts ahead for you because my laptopp is going away for a few days to have more hard rive installed, so Tex, James and Eileen are going to  link my post in on the relevant days for me.  Thanks Folks.  

This is the last post from my trip to the Copeland Island in May and I am featuring the beautiful Wheatear bird to fit in with Stewart’s meme of


The Wheatears are passerine birds of the genus Oenanthe. They were formerly considered to be members of the Thrush family Turdidae, but are now more commonly placed in the Flycatcher family Muscicapidae. This is an Old World group, but the Northern Wheatear has established a foothold in eastern Canada and Greenland and in western Canada and Alaska.


The name "Wheatear" is not derived from "wheat" or any sense of "ear", but is a 16th-century linguistic corruption of "white" and "arse", referring to the prominent white rump found in most species.


Oenanthe is also the name of a plant genus, the water dropworts, and is derived from the Greek oenos  "wine" and anthos  "flower".  In the case of the plant genus, it refers to the wine-like scent of the flowers.  In the case of the Wheatear, it refers to the Northern Wheatear's return to Greece in the spring just as the grapevines blossom.



Most species have characteristic black and white or red and white markings on their rumps or their long tails.  Most species are strongly sexually dimorphic; only the male has the striking plumage patterns characteristic of the genus, though the females share the white or red rump patches.


Wheatears are terrestrial insectivorous birds of open, often dry, country. They often nest in rock crevices or disused burrows.  Northern species are long-distance migrants, wintering in Africa.


There are 22 Wheatear species


I hope you have enjoyed my posts from my May trip to the Copeland Island and will not get fed up seeing my photographs from my June trip to the island.  I hope you will join me tomorrow.

Thank you for visiting today.

Many thanks for leaving comments on any of my posts.

25 comments:

  1. i love their sweet, soft coloring.

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  2. Artistic shots of this sweet Wheatear. I always thought their name was connected to wheat in some way, what a revelation!!:)

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  3. They're a super little bird. I always look forward to them arriving here in the Spring.

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  4. What an interesting little bird and I am facinated by the linguistics involved in arriving at the name. Your travels bring us so much interesting information and allows those of us who don't manage to get far from home to learn about the birds of the world. I am not surprised that you are needing more hard drive ... you have so many wonderful stories and pictures to save. Enjoyed this post, Margaret ...

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Hi Andrea. Well you have guessed the reason correctly although mt computer man said it was not the photographs but the VIDEOS!!!! Now I also need to buy another external hard drive as it is also nearly full. I think I will keep it especially for videos perhaps. I al always pleased to know the people are learning about birds that are not in their pert of the world I have Learned a lot since I started blogging but this mini ipad in no good for blogging, it is to small to type on. thanks for your comments. I always appreciate them.

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  5. gorgeous photos. I love the purple flower in the one photo!

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  6. Great photos of the wheatear and I like the details you show of the rocks and plants/lichens on them.

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  7. Always an interesting bird to watch Margaret, you have taken some great shots as well.

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  8. Wonderful photos of this cute little bird.

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  9. Super habitat shots of Oenanthe oenanthe. My only chance of seeing this species is on its spring and autumn migration ... if at all!

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  10. Love it - and hope your hard drive returns bigger and better than ever.

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  11. beautiful images of the little lady. It is a lady, right?

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  12. Margaret, your Wheatear is a beautiful bird. Wonderful series of photos.

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  13. Oh such a sweet little bird, lovely shots!

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  14. A wonderful bird .. beautiful pictures. That's very interesting how the name came to be! Kind of a tortuous route to get to a name that made me wonder ... since I didn't see any white on his sides of his head.

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  15. I feel the wheatear looks very wheaten! How funny that the name isn't that at all, but a twisted version of "white arse". Hmmm. Well, I like his name and he's a beautiful bird!

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  16. These are stunning Wheatear images Margaret, just really beautiful. And I must add, is it not wonderful to have friends from afar that we can trust to do a good deed such as helping us with our blog post and such. I too have had to ask for help from fellow bloggers and they are treasures.~

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  17. Such a pretty bird. Their coloring is soft and lovely. I liked how you explained how they got their name. A very enjoyable post.

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  18. Very nice photos of this little bird!
    Thanks for your kind comment, Margaret!
    Have a lovely Summer!
    /Pia

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  19. What a great llittle bird this is... for some reason reminds me of a smaller version of robin! Very good shots

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  20. What a lovely little bird. It's great seeing it in its surroundings.

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  21. Wonderful shots. Enjoy a little down time apart from the computer.

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  22. Very pretty bird - fluffy with soft, pretty colours. Nice photos!

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  23. Margaret, what a beautiful as well as informative post! I've only seen a Wheatear once, while living in Europe. Sure would love to see more!

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