63. Saxicola isabellina

Saxicola isabellina, Rupp. Atlas, p. 52, pl. 34, fig. 6, (1826). Dresser, ii. p. 199, pl. 22 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 399 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 76 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib., O. p. 349 ; Saunders, p. 21 ; Lilford, iii. p. 24, pl. 12 ; S. saltatrix, Keys and Blas, Wirbelth, Eur. p. 192 (1840).
Conek, Russian.
Male ad. (Egypt). Upper parts greyish isabelline ; lower rump and upper tail-coverts white ; superciliary line white ; lores black ; ear-coverts brown ; wings brown, the secondaries with pale margins, tail as in S. oenanthe but with more black ; under parts pale isabelline, chin nearly white, the breast darker ; under wing-coverts and axillaries white ; bill and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 0.6, wing 3.95, tail 2.45, tarsus 1.18 inch. The female differs merely in having the black on the lores duller. The nestling has the plumage indistinctly barred, and the wings and tail margined and tipped with rufous. In the winter the adult has the wing- and tail-feathers broadly margined with sandy brown. This species somewhat resembles the female of S. oenanthe, but can always be distinguished by its white under wing-coverts and axillaries.
Hab. Resident in Egypt, Nubia and Abyssinia ; Arabia, Palestine, the Caucasus and South Russia (where it migrates south for the winter) ; is resident in Persia, and is a summer resident in Turkestan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Tibet, north China and south-eastern Siberia, wintering in the plains of India from the Punjab south to Ahmednagar, and east to Chunar and Benares. It has once occurred in Great Britain but has not been otherwise recorded from western Europe.
In general habits this Wheatear does not differ from S. oenanthe. It frequents barren ground, pastures, bush-covered localities, and even sometimes fir-woods, and like its congeners feeds on insects of various kinds Its nest is placed in a hole in the ground, usually in the deserted hole of some rodent, and is bulky, constructed of grass and dried herbs. The eggs from 4 to 6 in number are deposited from February to May, according to latitude, and resemble those of S. oenanthe, but are rather larger, measuring 0.82 by 0.65. Its song is powerful and rich in tone, and it has a peculiar note resembling that of a Sandpiper.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
63. Saxicola isabellina
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Isabelline Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear
Oenanthe isabellina
Vol. 1

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