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. Eemnesserpolder, Eemnes, The Netherlands, 5 September 2019
Left: A male. Bargerveen Nature Reserve, Emmen, The Netherlands, 15 May 2018
Middle & Right: A female. Terschelling, The Netherlands, 14 October 2006