Western yellow wagtail

The western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws.

This species breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, such as western Europe, but northern and eastern populations migrate to Africa and south Asia.

It is a slender 15–16 cm long bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is the shortest tailed of the European wagtails. The breeding adult male is basically olive above and yellow below. In other plumages, the yellow may be diluted by white. The heads of breeding males come in a variety of colours and patterns depending on subspecies.

The call is a high-pitched jeet.[2]

This insectivorous bird inhabits open country near water, such as wet meadows. It nests in tussocks, laying 4–8 speckled eggs.

Western yellow wagtail
Wiesenschafstelze
Adult male blue-headed wagtail (M. f. flava)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Motacilla
Species:
M. flava
Binomial name
Motacilla flava
Subspecies

Some 15-20, but see text

MotacillaFlavaIUCNver2019 1
Range of M. flava     Breeding      Resident      Non-breeding
Synonyms

Motacilla tschutschensis (but see text)

Systematics

Motacilla is the Latin name for the pied wagtail; although actually a diminutive of motare, " to move about", from medieval times it led to the misunderstanding of cilla as "tail". The specific flava is Latin for golden-yellow.[3]

This species' systematics and phylogeny is extremely confusing. Literally dozens of subspecies have been described at one time or another, and some 15-20 are currently considered valid depending on which author reviews them. In addition, the citrine wagtail (M. citreola) forms a cryptic species complex with this bird;[4] both taxa as conventionally delimited are paraphyletic in respect to each other. The populations of the Beringian region are sometimes separated as eastern yellow wagtail (M. tschutschensis).

Currently recognized subspecies

Colouration refers to males except when noted.

Blue-grey head with white supercilium and malar stripe in males, much washed with buffish green in females.
Breeding: southern Scandinavia to France and central European mountain ranges, east to Urals. Winter: sub-Saharan Africa.
  • M. f. flavissima Blyth, 1834yellow-crowned wagtail
Yellow-green head with a brighter yellow supercilium. Females markedly paler below than males.
Breeding: Britain and English Channel coast. Winter: Africa.
  • M. f. thunbergi Billberg, 1828dark-headed wagtail or grey-headed wagtail
Head dark grey, reaching down to the cheeks, and without white in males; lighter and washed greenish, with vestigial greenish supercilium in females.
Breeding: central and northern Scandinavia east to north-west Siberia. Winter: eastern Africa, Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia.
  • M. f. iberiae Hartert, 1921Iberian yellow wagtail
Like flava, but throat white and grey darker, almost black behind eyes.
Breeding: south-eastern France, Iberia, Maghreb from Tunisia to Banc d'Arguin. Winter: The Gambia to the Central African Republic.
  • M. f. cinereocapilla Savi, 1831ashy-headed wagtail
Like iberiae but supercilium absent or vestigial.
Breeding: Sicily, Sardinia, Italy, Slovenia. Winter: coastal Tunisia and Algeria, Mali to Lake Chad.
  • M. f. pygmaea (A. E. Brehm, 1854)Egyptian yellow wagtail
Similar to cinereocapilla, smaller, less bright.
Nile delta and lower Nile, resident all year.
  • M. f. feldegg Michahelles, 1830black-headed wagtail
Like thunbergi but black cap in males, females like a dull thunbergi male above, very washed-out dirty yellowish below, throat white.
Breeding: Balkans east to the Caspian Sea, south to Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan; also Levant. Winter: central Africa from Nigeria to Uganda and south Sudan.
  • M. f. lutea (S. G. Gmelin, 1774)yellow-headed wagtail
Head yellow with green neck in males, females like a somewhat more vivid flava female.
Breeding: Lower Volga to Irtysh River and Lake Zaysan. Winter: Africa and Indian subcontinent.
  • M. f. beema (Sykes, 1832)Sykes' wagtail
Like flava but head lighter grey, ears washed white; sexes often similar.
Breeding: North of lutea, east to Ladakh area. Winter: Indian subcontinent, also east Africa and adjacent Arabia.
  • M. f. melanogrisea (Homeyer, 1878)Turkestan black-headed wagtail
Similar to feldegg, but white malar stripe and sometimes green neck.
Breeding: Volga Delta east around Caspian Sea to northern Afghanistan. Winter: Pakistan and north-west India to western Nepal, possibly also north-eastern Africa.
  • M. f. plexa (Thayer & Bangs, 1914)north Siberian yellow wagtail
Males like thunbergi but ears darker, top of head lighter, vestigial supercilium. Females like dull males.
Breeding: Siberia between Khatanga and Kolyma Rivers. Winter: India, southe-east Asia.
  • M. f. leucocephala (Przevalski, 1887)white-headed yellow wagtail
Male like flava, but grey of head very pale, almost white. Female like flava females, but head somewhat darker.
Breeding: North-west Mongolia and adjacent PRC and Russia. Winter: probably India.

The nominate blue-headed wagtail and yellow wagtail form a narrow hybrid zone in northern France. Birds from this zone vary in appearance, but one type, which resembles nominate blue-headed wagtail (except that the blue tones to the head are paler and more mauve and the white of the head is more extensive, particularly on the throat, ear-coverts, and supercilium) is colloquially referred to as Channel wagtail.

In culture

In the Pyramid Texts of Old Kingdom Egypt, the yellow wagtail was considered a representation of Atum himself and might have been the first inspiration for the Bennu bird, which, in turn, is the supposed inspiration for the phoenix of Greek mythology.[5]

Gallery

Motacilla flava MWNH 1580

Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden

Motacilla flava flavissima

Adult male yellow-crowned wagtail (M. f. flavissima)

Yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) at Kolkata I IMG 6091

Adult, probably female dark-headed or north Siberian yellow wagtail (M. f. thunbergi or plexa), wintering in Kolkata (West Bengal, India)

Yellow wagtail (Female- melanogrisea race) at Kolkata I IMG 4681

Adult female Turkestan black-headed wagtail (M. f. melanogrisea) wintering in Kolkata (West Bengal, India)

Motacilla flava 2 young (Marek Szczepanek)

Immature blue-headed wagtail (M. f. flava)

Black-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava feldegg), Skala Kallonis, Lesvos, Greece, 12.04.2015 (17137226897)

Black-headed wagtail (M. f. feldegg), Skala Kallonis, Lesvos, Greece

Yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava thunbergi) male

male M. f. thunbergi, Lake Ziway, Ethiopia

Western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava lutea) male

male M. f. lutea, Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe

References

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2013). "Motacilla flava". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Wiles et al. 2000, p. 279.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 160, 261. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Voelker 2002.
  5. ^ Salvador, Rodrigo B. (2015). "Egyptian mythology in the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games". Journal of Greek Studies. 2 (2): 8–32.

Sources

External links

Angarnsjöängen

Angarnsjöängen (Swedish: Lake Angarn Meadow, also spelt Angarnssjöängen) is a nature reserve circa 3 kilometres (3.0 km; 1.9 mi) northeast of Vallentuna, in Southern Uppland, Sweden.

It is a wetland with a varying water level depending on the weather. The water rises dramatically each spring as the snow melts and becomes very low by late summer and autumn, creating a good resting place for wading birds. A wetlands restoration project carried out in 1992 markedly increased both the numbers and the variety of birds visiting the site and nesting there. A total of 250 bird species have been observed there during a year.

Among the bird species known to typically nest in the nature reserve are western marsh harrier, northern lapwing, common redshank and western yellow wagtail.The Bronze Age Örstar petroglyphs and Runestone U 211 are both in the immediate vicinity. Angarn Church, dating from the 13th century, also lies close to the nature reserve.

Ashford Hill NNR

Ashford Hill is a British national nature reserve next to the village of Ashford Hill in Hampshire. Part of the reserve is a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The site is one of Natural Englands nature reserves

Citrine wagtail

The citrine wagtail (Motacilla citreola) is a small songbird in the family Motacillidae.

De Nieuwe Wildernis

De Nieuwe Wildernis (English: The New Wilderness) is a 2013 Dutch natural history documentary film about the nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands. The film shows animal life during four seasons, based on two years of filming in the reserve.

Dinton Pastures Country Park

Dinton Pastures Country Park is a country park in the civil parish of St Nicholas Hurst, in the borough of Wokingham, near Reading in the English county of Berkshire.

Dunes of Texel National Park

Dunes of Texel National Park (Dutch: Nationaal Park Duinen van Texel) is a national park located on the North-Holland island of Texel in the Netherlands. All dune systems on the western side of the island and the large coastal plains on both the northern and southern points of the island are part of the park. The park covers approximately 43 km2 (17 sq mi) and attained national park status in 2002. The visitor center is located in the natural history museum Ecomare.

In 1927 botanist Jac. P. Thijsse made an illustrated book about the flora and fauna on the island, and pointed out the major environmental values of the island. This book was one of a series, the book was sold very cheaply, and the pictures for the book came free with each Verkade chocolate bar.There are many walking trails which follow either red, yellow, blue or green signs

The green routes are not accessible during the bird breeding season. Many bicycle trails cross the park as well.

Eastern yellow wagtail

The eastern yellow wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis) is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. It was often classified as a subspecies of the Western yellow wagtail.

This species breeds in temperate Asia and has a foothold in North America in Alaska. Populations migrate to south Asia and Australia.

Vagrant individuals occur around the winter quarters at migration time. For example, on Palau in Micronesia migrant flocks of this species – apparently of the Bering Sea yellow wagtail, and including many adult males – are regularly seen, while further north on the Marianas, only the occasional stray individual – usually females or immatures as it seems – is encountered.It is a slender 15–16 cm long bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. The breeding adult male is basically olive above and yellow below. In other plumages, the yellow may be diluted by white. The heads of breeding males come in a variety of colours and patterns depending on subspecies.

The call is a characteristic high-pitched jeet.This insectivorous bird inhabits open country near water, such as wet meadows. It nests in tussocks, laying 4–8 speckled eggs.

Gedser Odde

Gedser Odde on the island of Falster in the Baltic Sea is Denmark's southernmost point. The terminal moraine from Idestrup through Skelby to Gedser is part of the maximum glaciation line across Falster, from Orehoved to Gedser. Fronted by low cliffs, the ridge, 5–7 m (16–23 ft) high, continues underwater a further 18 km (11 mi) south-east to Gedser Rev. Sydstenen (the south stone) marks the southernmost point.

Labro Meadows Nature Reserve

Labro Meadows Nature Reserve (Swedish: Labro ängar naturreservat) is a nature reserve in Södermanland County in Sweden. It is part of the EU-wide Natura 2000-network.

The nature reserve covers a gently hilly area with meadows and pastures, disused arable land and small hills overgrown with forest. In the eastern part of the nature reserve lies an observation tower for birdwatching. Several paths and information boards also exist within the reserve. The bird-life of the area is rich, with around 190 species observed in the area, out of which approximately 70 regularly breed within the nature reserve. The species include northern lapwing, common redshank and western yellow wagtail. From the flora, field gentian, globeflower, birds-eye primrose and catsfoot can be mentioned.

Lake Turner

Lake Turner (German: Turnersee) (Slovene: Zablaško jezero) is a lake in the municipality of Sankt Kanzian in Carinthia, Austria.

Les Landes

Les Landes is an area of coastal heathland in the north-west of Jersey. It has been designated as a Site of Special Interest (SSI) since 1996.The site is the largest of its kind in Jersey at 160 ha.

List of United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan species

This is a list of United Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan species. Some suffer because of loss of habitat, but many are in decline following the introduction of foreign species, which out-compete the native species or carry disease.

See also the list of extinct animals of the British Isles.

This list includes the 116 species identified as requiring action plans in the Biodiversity Steering Group's report of December 1995.

List of birds of Greece

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Greece. The avifauna of Greece include a total of 453 species according to the Hellenic Rarities Committee of the Hellenic Ornithological Society (Ελληνική Ορνιθολογική Εταιρεία). Of them, four have not been recorded since 1950 and two have been introduced by humans.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (English and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence. Species without tags are regularly occurring residents, migrants, or seasonal visitors which have been recorded since 1 January 1950.

(*) Rare in Greece; reports of these 120 species require submission to the Hellenic Rarities Committee for inclusion in the official record.

(B) Species which have not occurred in Greece since 1 January 1950.

(C) Species that do not occur naturally in Greece, although breeding populations have been introduced by humans.

List of birds of San Marino

This is a list of the bird species recorded in San Marino. The avifauna of San Marino include a total of 96 species, none of which are introduced or endemic.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of the Association of European Rarities Committees.

List of birds of the Netherlands

This is a list of the bird species recorded in the Netherlands. The avifauna of the Netherlands included a total of 534 species recorded in the wild by early 2018 according to Checklist of Dutch bird species and Bird Checklists of the World. Of these species, 238 are accidental, 16 have been introduced by humans, and one is extinct.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight some categories of occurrence. The (A) tags are from one or both of Checklist of Dutch bird species and Bird Checklists of the World, and (I) tags are from Bird Checklists of the World. The notes of population status such as "endangered" apply to the world population and are also from Bird Checklists of the World.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in the Netherlands

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to the Netherlands as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

Motacillidae

The wagtails, longclaws and pipits are a family, Motacillidae, of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. There are around 65 species in 6 genera. The longclaws are entirely restricted to the Afrotropics, and the wagtails are predominantly found in Europe, Africa and Asia, with two species migrating and breeding in Alaska. The pipits have the most cosmopolitan distribution, being found across mostly in the Old World but occurring also in the Americas and oceanic islands such as New Zealand and the Falklands. Two African species, the yellow-breasted pipit and Sharpe's longclaw, are sometimes placed in a separate seventh genus, Hemimacronyx, which is closely related to the longclaws.Most motacillids are ground-feeding insectivores of slightly open country. They occupy almost all available habitats, from the shore to high mountains. Wagtails prefer wetter habitats to the pipits. A few species use forests, including the forest wagtail, and other species use forested mountain streams, such as the grey wagtail or the mountain wagtail.

Motacillids take a wide range of invertebrate prey, especially insects are the most commonly taken, but also including spiders, worms, and small aquatic molluscs and arthropods. All species seem to be fairly catholic in their diet, and the most commonly taken prey for any particular species or population usually reflects local availability.

With the exception of the forest wagtail, they nest on the ground, laying up to six speckled eggs.

Stappitzer See

Stappitzer See is an Alpine lake in the Hohe Tauern mountain range near Mallnitz in Carinthia, Austria. It is located in the peripheral zone of the Hohe Tauern National Park.

Wagtail

The wagtails are a genus, Motacilla, of passerine birds in the family Motacillidae. The forest wagtail belongs to the monotypic genus Dendronanthus which is closely related to Motacilla and sometimes included herein. The common name and genus names are derived from their characteristic tail pumping behaviour. Together with the pipits and longclaws they form the family Motacillidae.

The willie wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) of Australia is an unrelated bird similar in coloration and shape to the Japanese wagtail. It belongs to the fantails.

Yellow wagtail

Yellow wagtail has been split into 2 species:

Western yellow wagtail, Motacilla flava

Eastern yellow wagtail, Motacilla tschutschensis

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