The Northern Wheatear is a bird of open stony country and is mainly found on the ground or on top of a rock.
The plumage of both female and male look rather different in summer and winter.
During the breeding season, the male is blue-grey above with black wings, and white below with an orange flush to the breast.
Outside the breeding season, the male has a buffy-brown crown and back (instead of blue-grey), yellowish-buff underparts and golden edging to the wing feathers (instead of black).
The breeding female is similar to the breeding male, but with pale brownish-grey upperparts, grey-brown wings and duller facial patterns.
Outside the breeding season, the female is generally buff-brown above (instead of grey) with buff and white edging to the wing feathers (instead of brown).
Juvenile Northern Wheatears are similar in appearance to the adult non-breeding female.
Top: A female. Rhodes, Greece, 26 September 2012
Left: A male. Lesvos, Greece, 28 April 2010
Middle: A female. Patmos, Greece, 25 September 2012