Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Isabelline Wheatear

(Oenanthe isabellina)

Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Least Concern

Population size: 3 500 – 7 000 pairs

Distribution pattern

With patchy and dispersed distribution, gradually decreasing in density of the breeding sites from southeast to northwest. The nesting grounds are most densely located in Sakar, the Eastern Rhodopes, the Derventa Hills, the hilly areas around the Tundzha River, at the foot of the Stara Planina Mountain from the Sliven Valley to Cape Emine. Less grouped in the Thracian Plain, Besaparski hills, the northern slopes of the mountains Rhodopes and Sredna Gora, the Kazanlak and Karlovo Valleys. Dispersed in the Danubian plain, the Sofia Field, the valley of the Struma River, as well as at higher altitudes in Ponor and Rila.

Big size map

Breeding distribution 2013 – 2020 – The distribution and the estimation of the population size of the species for the period 2013 – 2020 is presented –

Comparative distribution of the species compared to the first breeding birds atlas (Iankov, 2007): Breeding locality until 2007 | Breeding locality until 2007, confirmed after 2015 – | New breeding locality after 2015. – The breeding localities after 2015 are identified on a base of raw data from


Breeds on open, often stony slopes with dry siliceous grasslands or plains with steppe and dry calcareous grasslands, most often used as pastures. In isolated cases found in alpine and subalpine grasslands and on the outskirts or in thinly populated towns, villages and industrial zones. Often favours areas with colonies of Spermophylus citellus, nesting in its holes.

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Not analysed


Not analysed