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24

White Wagtail

(Motacilla alba)
Alternate name(s): "Pied Wagtail"
Size: 16.5-19 cm; wing span 25-30 cm
Weight: 25-30 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See White Wagtail at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "alba"

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Frontal view of a male White Wagtail
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

Lateral view of a male White Wagtail strutting in the typical wagtail fashion
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

The same male White Wagtail as above, now looking upward, thereby making its "bib" more clearly visible
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

FEMALE

Frontal view of a female White Wagtail
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

The same female White Wagtail as above, after a good shaking

Lateral view of a female White Wagtail
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, December 2009]

Gotcha! Female White Wagtail with its catch
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, December 2009]

Female White Wagtail on its little pedestal...
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, November 2009]

... and here seen looking over its shoulder
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, November 2009]

This female White Wagtail is taking a bath
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, December 2009]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Near-frontal view of a juvenile male White Wagtail

The same juvenile male White Wagtail, now seen more sideways
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

The same juvenile male White Wagtail, now seen laterally
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

Here a view of its back and the characteristic strut
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

Different posture...
[Campus of Sultan Qaboos University, near Muscat, February 2010]

Behaviour

We have observed a female White Wagtail that was very territorial. Both other White Wagtails and Grey Wagtails were vigorously chased away.

Food, Diet

Like all other wagtails known to us, White Wagtails are insect hunters. They take their prey from the ground or the surface of fresh water.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

whitwag_dw_20170326.m4a alba
(Ctl Poland)
Contact calls(?); male © DW

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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