Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small thrush (Oenanthe oenanthe) having a gray back, buff breast, and white rump, found in open areas of most northern regions.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various passerine birds of the genus Oenanthe that feed on insects.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An ear of wheat.
  • n. 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.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. small songbird of northern America and Eurasia having a distinctive white rump

Etymologies

Back-formation from earlier wheatears (taken as pl.) : probably by folk etymology from white + arse.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
wheat +‎ ear (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Adult male pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka (protonym, Motacilla pleschanka), also known as the common pied wheatear, Pleschanka's wheatear, or as Pleschanka's (pied) chat, photographed at Debre Libanos, Ethiopia (Africa).

    Mystery bird: Pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka

  • Response: This is an adult male pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka.

    Mystery bird: Pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka

  • This species is strongly dichromatic, meaning that the males and females have distinctive plumage colours and patterns -- a characteristic that distinguishes it from the monochromatic Cyprus pied wheatear, Oenanthe cypriaca, with which it was formerly considered to be conspecific.

    Mystery bird: Pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka

  • Here's a video that was shot along the coast of the Black Sea in Bulgaria of a singing male pied wheatear: You are invited to review all of the daily mystery birds by going to their dedicated graphic index page.

    Mystery bird: Pied wheatear, Oenanthe pleschanka

  • As I watch the wheatear bobbing up and down on the roll of hay, I wish it well, and look forward to welcoming it again next spring, as it passes through my home patch once more, on its way north.

    Birdwatch: Wheatear

  • It was a female wheatear, on Blackford Moor, a mile or so behind my home.

    Birdwatch: Wheatear

  • The wheatear is one of more than a dozen kinds of migrant songbird, including flycatchers, chats and warblers, which pass through our parish at this time of year.

    Birdwatch: Wheatear

  • Just over four years to the day after I first saw one here, there was a wheatear perched on the hay in the very same field.

    Birdwatch: Wheatear

  • But however much I learn about their incredible journeys, I remain in awe: how can a bird weighing less than an ounce travel so many thousands of miles, especially when, like this young wheatear in front of me, it has never done the trip before?

    Birdwatch: Wheatear

  • Now, though, the sun shone through the haze and the wheatear flew off over the leaning moor to join a single glider high overhead.

    Country diary: North Derbyshire

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Comments

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  • a small tear or a conglomeration of wheat

    February 13, 2012

  • A small passerine bird, Saxicola nanthe, widely distributed over the Old World, having a bluish-grey back, white belly, rump, and upper tail-coverts, and blackish wings.

    Love the etymology on this word: basically, it derives from the words for "white ass."

    Oh, love the bird, too. :-)

    February 1, 2007