Two subspecies of the Black-eared Wheatear are recognized: O. h. hispanica in South-western Europe and North Africa, and O. h. melanoleuca in South-eastern Europe, Turkey and Iran. Some authorities propose to give full species status to both, named Western Black-eared Wheatear and Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. The eastern race, melanoleuca, has more extensive black markings on the head and throat and is more 'black-and-white' than hispanica, which shows more orange tones. Both forms have male birds with or without a black throat.
Eastern Black-eared Wheatear. Lesvos, Greece, 24 April 2010