This is a small bird, less than a sparrow. The top of the head and the back are grey; the tail head is white; the wings, the lore and the tail tip are black. The bird has a characteristic “lekking” flight; the male bird flies off singing a song and then glides downwards with its wing and tail spread. The voice is a “check-check” sound.

It feeds on ground invertebrates and berries.
The bird is common all over the region, from the south to the north except for the Byrranga Mountains. In tundra it nests on cliffs, stone fields, naked hillsides, river and sea shores. In taiga the wheatear populates the shores of water basins and villages outskirts. In forest-steppe and steppe regions the bird inhabits open areas: ravines, sandy and shingly shores, screes and railway embankments, villages outskirts. The bird is rare in tundra and taiga and is common in the south.

The common wheatear returns to Krasnoyarsk region in the middle of April and flies back to the south in late September-early October. The nest is made on the ground, in splits of rocks, stacks of wood and sometimes – under roofs. The egg-set consists of 4-7 pale-blue eggs which sometimes have ginger spots.


It differs from a common wheatear by its pied color. The male bird has white head, bottom and tail head, the rest of body is black. The female wheatear has a brown back.

Тhe bird eats small insects, spiders and other invertebrates.
The pied wheatear is a bird of dry stony steppes. It is met in Minusinsk and Usinsk kettle holes and alongside rocky piedmonts that border the Krasnoyarsk forest-steppe from south and south-west. The bird nests in the Yenisei area as far north as Krasnoyarsk. It is a rare bird and can be seen only sporadically.

The pied wheatear flies back to the Krasnoyarsk forest-steppe in the beginning of May. It makes its nest on the ground, in rocky cliffs’ cavities, rock splits, under roofs and in wall cracks. There are 4-6 pale-blue eggs in a set which normally have red-brown spots.


Unlike a common wheatear it has a faded color (there are no pure grey or black tones). The body is shorter but the legs are longer. The bird’s sonorous song consists of imitations of other sounds: voices of lark, magpie, wagtail, kite and also a human whistle.

The bird feeds on insects.
It is a typical species for Asian dry steppes and deserts. As for Siberia, it nests in steppes of Minusinsk and Usinsk kettle hole and partly in Krasnoyarsk forest-steppe. The bird prefers sandy and clay steppe areas as well as wastelands near villages. The isabelline wheatear is a rare bird.

The nest is arranged on the ground, in clay cracks and abandoned rodents’ burrows. The nest is usually placed deep inside the burrow (further than outstretched arm). There are 4-6 light-blue eggs in a set.