Mountain Wheatear

Myrmecocichla monticola

Mountain Wheatears are shy birds, inhabiting rocky and mountainous terrain where they feed mainly on insects and other invertebrates, only occasionally ingesting berries and seeds. They’re also quite at home around abandoned open mines, quarries and old stone-built farmyards.

Mountain Wheatears form monogamous pairs that may last several breeding seasons (spanning spring and summer). While the male defends their territory it is the female that is responsible for building the nest – an untidy cup made of almost any material available – placed in a sheltered spot beneath a boulder, in a cave or in a hole in a cliff face or wall. Clutches of 2-4 eggs are incubated for 2 weeks, also by the female only, and once hatched both parents provide food for the chicks at the nest until they fledge at between 2 and 3 weeks of age. The youngsters will remain with their parents until they’re about 2 months old.

The Mountain Wheatear is a bird restricted to the southern part of Africa, occurring only in Angola, Namibia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Lesotho and South Africa (parts of all provinces). According to the IUCN, the Mountain Wheatear is of least concern.

11 thoughts on “Mountain Wheatear

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      It really is our pleasure, Carol!
      They do seem to be less frequent in KZN – even in the foothills of the Drakensberg – but we have seen them at Golden Gate, and they’re a “sure thing” at Mountain Zebra and Karoo National Parks

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Looking forward to it, Anne! Mountain Zebra National Park is a great place to see these birds.
      Won’t you please come put a link to your post here when you’ve published it?

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