White Wagtails have white flanks, with just some restricted pale grey confined to the sides of the breast, around the bend of the wing. Do Grey Wagtails migrate? Greater densities of Grey wagtails can be located in hillier areas of England, like the Lake District, and over summer they have a preference for fast-flowing rivers. Their cousins the Pied Wagtail however, can migrate to as far south as north Africa to get away from the cold. Upperparts, throat, chest and rump are black, face and underparts are white. Tail movements are most persistent for all wagtail species during feeding. Male White Wagtail on the other hand (pictured on the following page on migration in spring at Portland Bill by Martin Cade) is black on the crown and nape, chin, throat and upper breast, but has pale grey mantle, back, rump and uppertail coverts and only a light grey wash on the flanks and sides – giving it a very white appearance on the sides at distance. Pied Wagtail: Slender bird with a long, constantly moving tail. General. The yellow wagtail is a small, graceful, yellow and green bird, with a medium-length tail and slender black legs. simply form one place to another, but do so from an upland area (summer) to a lowland area (winter); such behaviour is known as “altitudinal migration”. For all the latest Autumnwatch content for 2010 visit BBC Nature UK. Pied Wagtail - Motacilla Alba The Pied Wagtail is a fairly common sight in many towns and cities. The partially migratory British and Irish form - the Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii) - appears to have expanded their breeding territories to include areas on the adjacent European mainland. Our Pied Wagtails are a different race to the familiar White Wagtail of Europe many of which will also pass through Britain heading for Iceland. Sadly, the species has declined in recent years, … Autumnwatch 2010 starts 8pm, 7 October on BBC Two. Wagtails are exclusively insectivores and their tails are an enormous benefit to them in catching food. 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. The Cornwall bird are juv/autumn adult pied and the French birds are white wagtails. Nominotypical subspecies M. a. yarrellii: Great Britain and Ireland, birds in the northern part of the range winter in Spain and North Africa, those further south are resident. Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba This species is instantly recognisable with its black and white plumage and its long tail that always seems to be on the move. Motacilla alba lugens or Kamchatka Pied Wagtail; Motacilla alba leucopsis or Amur/White-faced Wagtail; Motacilla alba alboides or Hodgson's Wagtail; White wagtail in Assam. The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. Latest. It's beautiful rivers, streams, grasslands, forests, marshes, reservoirs and hills attract hundreds of migrant birds every year. Bill, legs and feet are black. Do Grey Wagtails Migrate? Our Pied Wagtail is in fact a sub-species of the White Wagtail which breeds throughout Europe. Grey Wagtails do not engage in the migration from one place to another, but after the summer they move from upland, northern areas to lowland areas for the winter. Changes in … Monitored by. In Britain, we mostly see Pied wagtails, with the Whites passing through during the spring and autumn migration periods, and the White wagtails tend to have a much lighter grey back and a very clean, white belly and flanks. This is the common ‘willie wagtail’ found everywhere, in towns and the countryside. Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba This species is instantly recognisable with its black and white plumage and its long tail that always seems to be on the move. Even female pied wagtails have a black 'cap'. Wagtail; Go to a list of all the Autumnwatch animals. Breeding. Wagging isn’t just unique to the pied wagtail – there are several species that do it. Occasionally, they are found in Britain. Rival males show aggression by expanding their eyebrows during a territorial dispute. Adult males and females are similar. The pied wagtail’s Latin name is Motacilla alba, which means “White Waggling Tail”, our “Pied” version is a subspecies of the White Wagtail found in Europe and Asia. Pied Wagtails build their nest in holes in walls, buildings, or old nests of larger birds. Some migrate to the south of Europe and Africa down as far as Kenya and Malawi. However some birds migrate south to winter in southern France and Iberia. Yellow wagtails, farmland birds which migrate to sub-Saharan Africa, have seen numbers reduce by more than two-fifths (43%) between 1995 and 2012. I saw many African Pied Wagtails along the mouth of rivers within the Dwesa Nature Reserve feeding alongside Cape Wagtails. birds in the British isles are are a different race to those in continental europe (british/irish birders call the european race a white wagtail). Thanks to an excellent blog post I found, I discovered the reason why it was easier for me to tell these particular Whites from the Pied wagtails they were with. What does a Grey Wagtails call sound like? Those found in the milder parts of the range are typically resident; the others typically migrate south to Africa for the winter. Pied wagtails are year-round residents in southern areas of the UK but some breed in the uplands and migrate south in the winter, even crossing the channel. Last winter a Grey Wagtail spent most of its time attacking its reflection in one of our windows. Pied Wagtail is a darker, sootier grey on the upperparts (adult males are largely black above), but the important feature of autumn Pied is its extensive dark sooty-grey flanks. It is a summer visitor, migrating to winter in Africa. Some migrate. This species is slightly larger than the Cape Wagtail and is more boldly colored, with very striking black and white. We might also see grey and pied wagtails on the streets of our cities and towns in winter because they never get as cold as the surrounding countryside and few birds can brighten a dull grey winter's day like a grey wagtail. Wings are black with two white wingbars and white-edged feathers, tail is black with white outer feathers. Pied Wagtails are elegant birds in constant motion, darting here and there to pick up tiny insects from the grass. This is called altitudinal migration. There it seems to favor the vicinity of manmade structures: most of the nests found in Alaska have been in abandoned fishing huts, old gold dredges, empty fuel tanks, or piles of debris on the beach. Pied Wagtail. This species can be seen foraging along estuaries, especially where they open up to the sea. References to Other Bird Sites: These are links to websites pertaining to the different birding institutions, societies and organizations here in North America. Whereas the male Pied Wagtail has an all-black back, which makes him a very smart and dapper bird, the male White Wagtail has a grey back. Wintering. Even with this information there is more that we need to learn about their migration, most notably the routes used and the sites visited when birds ‘stop-over’ to refuel. Winter male is more grey, shows less black on the breast and the flanks are grey. Any thoughts? The type species is the white wagtail. Countryside Bird Survey and BirdTrack. As its name implies, it wags its tail from time to time.
Are pied wagtails territorial? The distinctive white eyebrow of the male wagtail is not just a fashion statement - it helps him attract a mate. Pied wagtail or water wagtail. However, they are caught for sport and often then placed into collections. Identification: Adult. The yellow wagtail is a spring and summer visitor from Africa, mostly found on wet meadows. Another relatively common wagtail is the African Pied Wagtail. Hello, I came across a flock of yellow wagtails today and in with them was what I first thought was a pied wagtail. Grass and mosses are used to construct the small cup-shaped nest. It spends much time walking or running on the ground. Then, in spring, it disappeared - we assumed it had died from exhaustion! They have two distinct techniques that they use. It is replaced on the continent, and as far north as Iceland, by the grey wagtail race referred to somewhat confusingly as the white wagtail. In fact, they do not engage in migration in the ordinary sense i.e. The eggs are pale grey with dark grey spots, smooth and glossy, and about 20 mm by 15 mm. Assam is famous for its rich biodiversity. White Wagtail. The pied wagtail is a truly British and Irish species, for it’s breeding range is virtually confined to these islands. It can often be seen running around on the pavements and gardens in fairly built up areas. Pied Wagtails feed mainly on insects caught on the ground or in flight. Yellow Wagtail breeding distribution 2008-11 Farmland fortunes. The pied wagtail is black, white, and grey. They will use open-fronted nest boxes. The combination of size, tail, actions and colour makes the Pied Wagtail unmistakable. I now think it might have been a white wagtail - it has the black breast patch but is so much paler otherwise. Yellow Wagtail (Eastern) Return to Field and Stream Birds. The male and female take turns incubating the eggs, and both adults feed the young. Return to Birds of North America Home Page. yellow-wagtail-breeding-distribution-2008-11.gif. I once stopped to collect an injured one on the side of the road driving to Carnarvon Gorge (maybe I’d get some ‘luck credit’), but it expired despite my best efforts to keep it breathing. Males of the British race yarrellii, named after 19th century English naturalist Willim Yarell, are black and white as opposed to the paler softer grey-mantled nominate alba males. Generally sedentary, with only local movenments. The genus Motacilla was introduced by the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae. The Willie Wagtail, Rhipidura leucophrys, lives all over mainland Australia and is hard to miss with its long fanned tail that it swings from side to side or up and down while foraging on the ground. But last week it, or another bird, has reappeared, and resumed the same behaviour. Breeds in a wide variety of habitats, inclubing urban areas but largely absent from bogs and upland areas. This species breeds throughout Eurasia up to latitudes 75°N, only being absent in the Arctic from areas where the July isotherm is less than 4 °C.