wheatear

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n wheatear small songbird of northern America and Eurasia having a distinctive white rump
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Wheatear (Zoöl) A small European singing bird (Saxicola œnanthe). The male is white beneath, bluish gray above, with black wings and a black stripe through each eye. The tail is black at the tip and in the middle, but white at the base and on each side. Called also checkbird chickell dykehopper fallow chat fallow finch stonechat, and whitetail.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n wheatear An ear of wheat.
    • n wheatear A chat of the genus Saxicola, Saxicola œnanthe, the stone-chat, fallow-finch, or whitetail, an oscine passerine bird abundant in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and found sparingly in North America. The wheatear is 6¾ inches long, and 12½ in extent; it varies much in plumage with sex, age, and season. The adult male in summer has the upper parts French gray, with conspicuous white rump and white base of the black tail; the under parts are some shade of buff, often whitish; the wings are blackish; a broad glossy-black bar on the side of the head includes the ears, and is surmounted by a white stripe; the bill and feet are black, the eyes dark-brown. The female is brownish, darkest on the upper parts, with wings and tail like those of the male; the young resemble the female, but are spotty. The nest is made on the ground; the eggs are four to seven, greenish-blue, usually spotless, sometimes faintly speckled. The wheatear shares with both the British species of Pratincola the name stonechat, which is more appropriate to this bird than to either of the bushchats; it is more fully specified as white-rumped stonechat, and also called white-rump, whitetail, stone-clatter (from its Gaelic name clacharan, which survives in Scotland and in books), fallow-finch, and by other local names.
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Usage

In literature:

A mile away, I know a flinty waste beloved of the wheatear and the locust.
"The Life of the Fly" by J. Henri Fabre
A few days' sunshine and the first wheatear appears.
"Nature Near London" by Richard Jefferies
Redwings, wheatears, peewits, and airy kestrels are the people of their skies.
"Lore of Proserpine" by Maurice Hewlett
The chats and the wheatear are of course common.
"The Forest of Dean An Historical and Descriptive Account" by H. G. Nicholls
The sycamore by the ruined chancel pattered in the breeze, and the wheatear's last notes came from its top-most bough.
"A Son of Hagar" by Sir Hall Caine
Where wheatears frequent, their return is very marked; they appear suddenly in the gardens and open places, and cannot be overlooked.
"The Hills and the Vale" by Richard Jefferies
There, an adult wheatear was feeding insects to her young, which were three fourths the size of the parent.
"Birds Found on the Arctic Slope of Northern Alaska" by James W. Bee
We need not suppose that Wheatears prolong their stay on the coast in order to rest after their voyage.
"British Birds in their Haunts" by Rev. C. A. Johns
Birds are few on these stony wastes, larks, wheatears and snow-finches being the commonest.
"Mount Everest the Reconnaissance, 1921" by Charles Kenneth Howard-Bury
I found the Sandpipers' and Wheatears' eggs on my arrival home.
"Life of Frederick Courtenay Selous, D.S.O." by J.G. Millais
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In news:

A rare northern wheatear appeared near Reading Area Community College.
Wheatears fly non-stop to AfricaThe Northern Wheatear breeds in the high Arctic in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, and its wintering range is sub-Saharan Africa -- facts that set it apart from just about every other songbird in the world.
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