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The specific epithet alba is Latin for "white". [11], There are a number of other subspecies, some of which may have arisen because of partial geographical isolation, such as the resident British and Irish form, the pied wagtail M. a. yarrellii, which now also breeds in adjacent areas of the neighbouring European mainland. Moksnes et al. Breeding M. a. yarrellii look much like the nominate race except for the black back, and M. a. alboides of the Himalayas differs from the Central Asian M. a. personata only by its black back. the annual top-10 list during 19 years (white wagtail Motacilla alba L., in 7 years; linnet Carduelis cannabina L., in 6 years; greenfinch Carduelis chloris L. and fieldfare Turdus pilaris L., in 1 year each, The nest is set into a crevice or hole—traditionally in a bank next to a river or ditch—but the species has also adapted to nesting in walls, bridges and buildings. Northern European breeders winter around the Mediterranean and in tropical and subtropical Africa,[24] and Asiatic birds move to the Middle East, India,[19] and Southeast Asia. [27], The exact composition of the diet of white wagtails varies by location, but terrestrial and aquatic insects and other small invertebrates form the major part of the diet. [29] It is lined with soft materials, including animal hair. The white wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. The white wagtail was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th-century work, Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Motacilla alba. [17], Nine or eleven subspecies are currently recognised. The white wagtail is somewhat unusual in the parts of its range where it is non-migratory as it is an insectivorous bird that continues to feed on insects during the winter (most other insectivorous birds in temperate climates migrate or switch to more vegetable matter). The white wagtail is an insectivorous bird of open country, often near habitation and water. In total, there are between 9 and 11 subspecies. [1] The population in Europe appears to be stable. The wagtail is almost, but not quite, an exclusively British bird. The white wagtail is a slender bird, 16.5–19 cm in length (East Asian subspecies are longer, measuring up to 21 cm, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. A recent study has suggested instead that it is a signal of vigilance to potential predators. In the profile of the White Wagtail, it was explained that the reason why is not really known, but it seems that the action of wagging or pumping the tail has nothing to do with gender, the season, or for … [8] Other phylogenetic studies using mtDNA still suggest that there is considerable gene flow within the races and the resulting closeness makes Motacilla alba a single species. [19] The breeding season for most is from April to August, with the season starting later further north. Free, global bird ID and field guide app powered by your sightings and media. Let your Willie Wagtails be your garden bug controllers. Females are harder to tell apart, though they tend to be … Some races show sexual dimorphism during the breeding season. M. a. personata has been recorded breeding in the Siddar Valley of Kashmir of the Western Himalayas. [4] Though it is 'of least concern', there are several threats against it, like being kept as pets and being used as food. In Ireland and Great Britain, the darker subspecies, the pied wagtail or water wagtail[2] (M. a. yarrellii) predominates. It also breeds in the mountains of Morocco and western Alaska. Attacks against the predators were also observed. Its average weight is 25 g (0.88 oz) and the maximum lifespan in the wild is about 12 years. The white wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine bird in the family Motacillidae, which also includes pipits and longclaws.The species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of North Africa.It has a … The Latin genus name originally meant "little mover", but certain medieval writers thought it meant "wag-tail", giving rise to a new Latin word cilla for "tail". Distinctive but variable: all plumages are some bold combination of black, white, and gray. It’s bold black and white plumage, conspicuous habits and loud, distinctive “chis-ick” call are easy to recognize and assist to … One nest was found in the skull of a walrus. The White Wagtail was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Motacilla alba.The Latin genus name originally … The White Wagtail is a slender bird, 16.5–19 cm (6½–7½ in) in length (East Asian subspecies are longer, measuring up to 21 cm (8¼ in), with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is the national bird of Latvia and has featured on the stamps of several countries. [4], "Pied wagtail" redirects here. The British race, the pied wagtail, has a much darker back: almost black in the male, compared with pale grey in the white wagtail. If so, and if tail wagging is used exclusively for this purpose, juveniles should tail-wag to the … The population size is between 130 and 230 million. [33] Shows considerable variation in plumage across the world, but never has a clear, thin and contrasting eye-brow like White-browed or Japanese Wagtail… There it seems to … Occurs in varied open habitats, from wild grassy areas and wetlands to paved car parks and grassy lawns. [7], Within the wagtail genus Motacilla, the white wagtail's closest genetic relatives appear to be other black-and-white wagtails such as the Japanese wagtail, Motacilla grandis, and the white-browed wagtail, Motacilla madaraspatensis (and possibly the Mekong wagtail, Motacilla samveasnae, the phylogenetic position of which is mysterious), with which it appears to form a superspecies. It occupies a wide range of habitats, but is absent from deserts. It nests in crevices in stone walls and similar natural and man-made structures.[3]. Climate change may be affecting the time of their migration. [32], This species has a large range, with an estimated extent of more than 10 million km2 (3.8 million sq mi). As one of our most … the species is not itself a single coherent grouping). [31], Though it is known to be a host species for the common cuckoo, the white wagtail typically deserts its nest if it has been parasitised. Pied wagtail guide: how to identify and species facts The pied wagtail is a small distinctive bird that is easily identified long wagging tail, discover more about these fascinating birds in our expert … [12][13][14][15] Phylogenetic studies using mtDNA suggest that some morphological features have evolved more than once, including the back and chin colour. Wagtails don’t nest in the Channel Islands, but white wagtail… This species breeds in much of Europe and … The white wagtail is a slender bird, 16.5–19 cm (6½–7½ in) in length (East Asian subspecies are longer, measuring up to 21 cm (8¼ in), with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. In Ireland and Great Britain, the darker subspecies, the pied wagtail or water wagtail (M. a. yarrellii) predominates. Adam Byrne had discovered a White Wagtail almost 5 hours' drive to the south at Pointe Mouillee. Cramp (1988) also supposed that the white wagtail (hereafter wagtail) wags its tail to flush insects. Most of the birds flew north.
In winter, white wagtail was seemingly dominant in Motacilidae, at least in the study area. The Latin genus name originally … [9] A study has suggested the existence of only two groups: the alboides group, with M. a. alboides, M. a. leucopsis and M. a. personata; and the alba group, with M. a. alba, M. a. yarrellii, M. a. baicalensis, M. a. ocularis, M. a. lugens, and M. a. Attacks against the predators were also observed. And thus my detour home began; the 3 hour drive home turned into an epic 8.5 hour drive … The type species is the white wagtail. The white wagtail was one of the many species originally described by Carl Linnaeus in his landmark 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name Motacilla alba. The White Wagtail, Motacilla alba, is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family.A number of sub-species are recognised including Motacilla alba alba found in Europe from the Iberian Peninsula to the Ural Mountains, Turkey, the Levant, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland's east coast and Motacilla alba yarrellii (Pied Wagtail… The remainder of the park, which was not seen to be used by the wagtail… [19] In a number of cities, notably Dublin, large flocks gather in winter to roost. Include mulch, leaf … Most of the species are … The British subspecies Motacilla alba yarellii was named after William Yarrell (1784-1856), the writer of the History of British Birds (first ed. The eggs begin to hatch after 12 days (sometimes as late as 16 days). Shows considerable variation in plumage across the world, but never has a clear, thin and contrasting eye-brow like White-browed or Japanese Wagtail. This is because the black backed wagtail may be a separate species and M. a. dukhunensis may be part of M. a. alba. Both sexes are responsible for building the nest, with the male responsible for initiating the nest building and the female for finishing the process. Plant dense, spiky local native bushes in your garden and understory plants as a habitat for small birds to hide from larger predators. One of the most common birds of open country across Europe and Asia, the White Wagtail enters North America only as a scarce and local summer resident of western Alaska. Attacks against the predators … It has a toehold in Alaska as a scarce breeder. [10], The white wagtail is a slender bird, 16.5 to 19 cm (6.5 to 7.5 in) in length (East Asian subspecies are longer, measuring up to 21 cm (8.3 in)), with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. [28], White wagtails are monogamous and defend breeding territories. In total, there are between 9 and 11 subspecies. [25] Birds from the North American population also winter in tropical Asia. [16] It has also been noted that both back and chin change colour during the pre-basic moult; all black-throated subspecies develop white chins and throats in winter and some black-backed birds are grey-backed in winter. Take Merlin with you in the field! For the related African bird, see, "Bird's Lifestyle: White Wagtail - National Bird of Latvia", "Latin Definitions for: Alba (Latin Search) - Latin Dictionary and Grammar Resources - Latdict", 10.1650/0010-5422(2002)104[0725:SAHBOW]2.0.CO;2, "Changes to Category A of the British List", "Nesting and occurrence of White Wagtail in Alaska", "Rejection Behavior by Common Cuckoo Hosts Towards Artificial Brood Parasite Eggs", 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22718348A88050593.en, Identification article with pictures (PDF), Ageing and sexing (PDF; 4.9 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=White_wagtail&oldid=985202313, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Great Britain, the pied wagtail '' redirects here about wagtail, Birds bird! Eggs are laid, with the usual number being four to six grouping ) national of... Darker subspecies, the species is not itself a single coherent grouping ) wagtail is itself polyphyletic or (! 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