History and modern status of the black-eared wheatear, Oenanthe hispanica (L) (Passeriformes, Muscicapidae), in Ukraine

Keywords: Oenanthe hispanica, history, distribution, hybridization, Ukraine, Crimea


The history of research of the Black-eared Wheatear in Ukraine in XIX-XXI centuries is presented. The Black-eared Wheatear is now a rare breeding bird in the coastal area of the Crimean peninsula, and a very rare vagrant species on the other territory of Ukraine. Four breeding regions of the Black-eared Wheatear are found in the Crimean peninsula: seacoast between Sudak and Theodosia cities; neighborhood of Sevastopol city; Tarkhankut peninsula; Kerch peninsula. The first two breeding regions have been known since the middle of XIX century. In the breeding regions, the breeding areas of the Black-eared Wheatear are not constant: the birds almost never nest in a place for a number of years. Oenanthe hispanica breeds in Crimea in the same biotopes as its sibling species, the Pied Wheatear Oenanthe pleschanka, which is essentially more abundant there. The breeding of single Black-eared Wheatears with the numerous Pied Wheatears increases their interspecies hybridization, which is rather common on the Crimean peninsula. Three out of five individuals of Oenanthe hispanica collected in Crimea and stored in various museums turned out to be hybrids with Oenanthe pleschanka. The Black-eared and Pied Wheatears have hybridized in the Crimean peninsula for a long time: the hybrids have been recorded in XX and in XXI centuries. The hybrids do not occur in a specific breeding region, and can be found in any of those.


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How to Cite
Tsvelykh, A. N. (2021). History and modern status of the black-eared wheatear, Oenanthe hispanica (L) (Passeriformes, Muscicapidae), in Ukraine. Zoodiversity, 55(1). https://doi.org/10.15407/zoo2021.01.087