First record of Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata (Aves: Passeriformes: Muscicapidae) from Osmanabad District and range extension to southeastern Maharashtra, India


Sanjay Thakur 1, Rajiv Pandit 2 & Anil Mahabal 3


1 Biome Conservation Foundation, 18- Silver Moon, S.No: - 1/2A/2, Bavdhan (Kh), Pune, Maharashtra 411021, India

2 Jividha.A-20, Vijayashree towers, Near Global Hospital, Dattawadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411030, India

3 Scientist (Retd), Zoological Survey of India, WRC, Akurdi, Pune, Maharashtra 411044, India

1 (corresponding author), 2, 3


doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: C. Srinivasulu, Osmania University, Hyderabad, India. Date of publication: 26 March 2015 (online & print)



Manuscript details: Ms # o4265 | Received 28 January 2015 | Final received 09 March 2015 | Finally accepted 10 March 2015



Citation: Thakur, S., R. Pandit & A. Mahabal (2015). First record of Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata (Aves: Passeriformes: Muscicapidae) from Osmanabad District and range extension to southeastern Maharashtra, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(3): 7042–7043;



Copyright: © Thakur et al. 2015. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.



Funding: None.



Competing Interest: The authors declare no competing interests



Acknowledgements: The authors are thankful to Sujit Narwade, BNHS, Mumbai for providing us the relevant literature and Dr. Aparna Watve, Asst. Prof., Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tuljapur for providing support on the field.





The Variable Wheatear  Oenanthe picata (Muscicapidae: Passeriformes) is a bird of arid and semi-arid region, and is locally abundant in barren rocky areas, sand dunes with scrub vegetation, cultivation, ravines, outside villages and nomadic encampments. It is a winter visitor to northwestern India, mainly the arid zones of Rajasthan and Gujarat, up to Madhya Pradesh and northern Maharashtra (Ali & Ripley 1983; Rasmussen & Anderton 2012). Further, there are sightings of this bird from Leh-Alchi (Jammu and Kashmir), Kangra (Himachal Pradesh), Haripur (Punjab), Chandigarh, South Delhi, Jhajjar (Haryana), Chambal (Uttar Pradesh), Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Raipur and Patan (Chhattisgarh) besides the number of records from Gujarat and Rajasthan (Ebird 2015; Migrantwatch 2015). Prasad (2003) has compiled some records of this bird from western Maharashtra particularly from Dhule, Nasik and Pune districts. Recently, Kasambe & Wadatkar (2007) reported a single bird from Amravati University campus, Amravati, Maharashtra.

A project has been undertaken by us since 2013 to study the bird diversity of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Tuljapur Campus and surroundings, a semi-arid area of Osmanabad District, Maharashtra. During the winter, we sighted a single male Variable Wheatear on 29 December 2014 at 08.30hr, near stone crusher (18002’15.5”N & 76003’15.7”E) close to TISS (Image 1). The bird was again sighted on 3 January 2015 at 17.20hr and on 18 January 2015 at 08.15hr in the same locality.





The species has not been reported from Osmanabad District by Narwade & Fartade (2011) or from the neighbouring districts of Solapur by Mahabal (1989) and Ahmednagar by Kurhade (1991, 1996) and by Jathar (2014). The present sighting of Variable Wheatear Oenanthe picata is the first record from Osmanabad District, Maharashtra and constitutes a range extension to southeastern India.






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Ebird (2015) Variable Wheatear In: Ebird Downloaded on15 February 2015.

Jathar, G. (2014). Birds of Darewadi Learning Center and Watershed. Buceros 19(2): 11–15.

Kasambe, R. & J. Wadatkar (2007). Birds of Pohara-Malkhed Reserve Forest, Amravati, Maharashtra - an updated annotated checklist. Zoos’ Print Journal 22(7): 2768–2770;

Kurhade, S.M. (1991). Birds of Ahmednagar. Pavo 29(1&2): 15–21.

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