Capped Wheatear.. an Old World flycatcher..

Capped Wheatear (Oenanthe pileata).

This wheatear is found in open dry sandy and stony habitats and short grassland with a few bushes and termite mounds. This solitary species feeds on insects, especially ants. Like other wheatears, it perches on mounds and hops over the short grass, or flies low over the ground. (wonder where the Old world Flycatcher name comes from, they don’t even eat flies.)

The Capped Wheatear’s song is a loud melodic warble interspersed with slurred chattering, (not due to the intake of alcohol) and it has a chik-chik alarm call. It is monogamous and builds a nest of straw, grass, and leaves in a hole in the ground or a termite mound. Typically it lays three or four, and sometimes more, eggs.

It is 17–18 cm long and weighs 32 g. Its legs and pointed bill are black. This common species is striking and unmistakable in appearance. The adult has a black cap, cheeks and breast band, and a white eye stripe and throat.

Now for some photos… again this bird was talking and I could hear it.. (getting worried about that.!!)

Radermeyer and rietspruit 164

Radermeyer and rietspruit 163

Radermeyer and rietspruit 162

Radermeyer and rietspruit 161

cape wheatear

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52 thoughts on “Capped Wheatear.. an Old World flycatcher..

  1. I love the attitude the bird is show you. It looks like it has a permanent case of the “stink eye” ( some call it a scowl, but I prefer the more descriptive term). It’s probably miffed that everyone expects it to catch flies when it hates flies. 😉

    • This one was probably only 10 ft. from me, used a bit of zoom to get the depth blur and to capture his colours, because the light was not of the best and I had no idea till I got home what bird it was… a lot of my photos are taken for ID purposes and in that case not much thought is given to composition etc… but these did turn out well… thanks for asking and commenting…

  2. Ma quanto è bello, ogni giorno mi dai la possibilità di conoscere nuove specie di animali, grazie 🙂
    Nell’ultima foto sembra ti stia guardando e chiedendosi… ma che vuole da me?? 😆
    Ciao, Pat

  3. What a beautiful little bird. I am glad to know that alcohol is not a part of his dietary intake! 🙂 I have been curious to know how you identify your birds. There are so many! Do you study birds and then go out to find them, or find them, take photos and then try to identify them. You seem to have a lot of knowledge and with such variety, that can’t be easy! This little guy has beautiful coloring!

    • I have good books and an ID is not always easy due to some being so close to others… but being around birds for 50 plus years one tends to remember an awful lot… I also collected birds eggs as a youngster where ID and such was a necessity… it has just been a hobby and a love from years back and the I go out with the camera and see what I can capture, get a lot of duplicates but sometimes one is lucky…. we have 900 odd specie and I want to capture as many as possible on camera… so far I’ve got just over 300 now, not all good, but we keep on going… it’s a wonderful hobby followed by so many in this country… and we even have a FB page where if one struggles with an ID there are many to help..

  4. Sounds like this Capped Wheater is an interesting little creature bulldog! Wish you could input audio here in your post and we could hear the loud melodic warble ~ and slurred chatters 🙂 There must be a way!! A cutie birdy too! Captions are funny!! ~ Thank you – and Much Love ~R

    • I have just put together a post on a bird the Burchell’s Coucal and added its call, interesting you should think of that when I did… great minds and all that… had a bit of trouble working it out.. and also copy rights.??

    • Now that’s a good question… I’ve been in the bush or out doors all my life.. I grew up in the bush, worked as a Land Surveyor in the bush, worked as a Golf Course Super till a year ago, and now am semi retired, with a computer program I designed being encoded for sale in the golf industry.. it’s unique and hopefully will put me in the position to be fully retired and merely head up the company of Bulldogs Turf Solutions… my love of animals and birds began when I was sent to a school in the bush at the age of 6 and my fascination began there… 56 years later I’ve learnt so much, yet have still not finished learning… it’s been a great life…

  5. Hahaha. Love the road-crossing rules that my mom taught me. Yes, I am getting a little worried about you, bdt. Actually, both you and Suzanne. 😀 What a cocky little fellow is Mnr. Wheatear. 🙂

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