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 toehold in Alaska as a scarce breeder. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa. In Ireland and Great Britain, the darker subspecies, the pied wagtail or water wagtail (M. a. yarrellii) predominates. In total, there are between 9 and 11 subspecies.
The white wagtail is an insectivorous bird of open country, often near habitation and water. It prefers bare areas for feeding, where it can see and pursue its prey. In urban areas it has adapted to foraging on paved areas such as car parks. It nests in crevices in stone walls and similar natural and man-made structures.
It is the national bird of Latvia and has featured on the stamps of several countries. Though it is 'of least concern', there are several threats against it, like being kept as pets and being used as food.
|Female, first summer|
|Global map of eBird reports Year-round range Summer range Winter range|
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 meant "little mover", but certain medieval writers thought it meant "wag-tail", giving rise to a new Latin word cilla for "tail". The specific epithet alba is Latin for "white".
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. However, mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequence data suggests that the white wagtail is itself polyphyletic or paraphyletic (i.e. the species is not itself a single coherent grouping). 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. 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. subpersonata.
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. Its average weight is 25 g (0.88 oz) and the maximum lifespan in the wild is about 12 years.
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. The pied wagtail, named for naturalist William Yarrell, exchanges the grey colour of the nominate form with black (or very dark grey in females), but is otherwise identical in its behaviour. Other subspecies, the validity of some of which is questionable, differ in the colour of the wings, back, and head, or other features. Some races show sexual dimorphism during the breeding season. As many as six subspecies may be present in the wintering ground in India or Southeast Asia and here they can be difficult to distinguish. Phylogenetic studies using mtDNA suggest that some morphological features have evolved more than once, including the back and chin colour. 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. M. a. personata has been recorded breeding in the Siddar Valley of Kashmir of the Western Himalayas. 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.
The call of the white wagtail is a sharp chisick, slightly softer than the version given by the pied wagtail. The song is more regular in white than pied, but with little territorial significance, since the male uses a series of contact calls to attract the female.
Nine or eleven subspecies are currently recognised. This is because the black backed wagtail may be a separate species and M. a. dukhunensis may be part of M. a. alba. Information on the plumage differences and distribution of the subspecies of the white wagtail is shown below.
|M. a. alba||Europe from the Iberian Peninsula to Ural Mountains, Turkey, the Levant, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland's eastern coast. Some migrate to the south of Europe and Africa down as far as Kenya and Malawi. Occasionally, they are found in Britain.||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 or water wagtail. Has a much blacker back than the nominate race, black of throat continues on side of neck|
|M. a. dukhunensis||West Siberian Plain – east Caspian Sea (part of Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan), winters in the Middle East, India and Bangladesh. Sometimes included in alba.||Indian pied wagtail. The upperparts of this subspecies are paler and more blue-grey than nominate, and has it has a continuous unbroken white panel on wing coverts.||
|M. a. persica||North central and western Iran.||Intermediate between M. a. dukhunensis and M. a. personata. Often included in alba; appears to be hybrid or intergrade population.|
|M. a. subpersonata||Non-migratory resident of Morocco||Moroccan wagtail. It has more black on the head than the nominate, and resembles a grey-backed, white-throated African pied wagtail|
|M. a. personata||Hindu Kush, Tian Shan, Altay Mountains (northern Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Xinjiang)||Masked wagtail. All-black head with a white face mask|
|M. a. alboides||Himalayas and surrounding area||This subspecies has a black back and a lot of black around the head, a white wing panel and white edges on the secondaries and tertials.|
|M. a. baicalensis||Russia in Lake Baikal area, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia||Resembles M. a. leucopsis but grey back and less white on head and wing.|
|M. a. ocularis||Siberia, Far Eastern (Russia, eastwards from Central Siberian Plateau) expanding into West Alaska||Similar to M. a. lugens, but with an all grey rump, clearer blue-grey and darker gray back.|
|M. a. lugens||Russia Far East (Primorsky Krai, Khabarovsk Krai), Kamchatka Peninsula, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Japan (Hokkaidō, Honshū)||Black-backed wagtail or kamchatka/Japanese pied wagtail, similar to M. a. yarrellii, but has a black eyestripe and white remiges; might have a claim to constitute a distinct species.|
|M. a. leucopsis||China, Korean Peninsula, Japan (Ryukyu Islands, Kyūshū), expanding into Japan (Honshū), Southeast Asia, India, and Oceania||Amur wagtail|
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. It also breeds in the mountains of Morocco and western Alaska. It occupies a wide range of habitats, but is absent from deserts. White wagtails are residents in the milder parts of its range such as western Europe and the Mediterranean, but migratory in much of the rest of its range. Northern European breeders winter around the Mediterranean and in tropical and subtropical Africa, and Asiatic birds move to the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia. Birds from the North American population also winter in tropical Asia.
The most conspicuous habit of this species is a near-constant tail wagging, a trait that has given the species, and indeed the genus, its common name. In spite of the ubiquity of this behaviour, the reasons for it are poorly understood. It has been suggested that it may flush prey, or signal submissiveness to other wagtails. A study in 2004 has suggested instead that it is a signal of vigilance to potential predators.
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. These range from beetles, dragonflies, small snails, spiders, worms, crustaceans, to maggots found in carcasses and, most importantly, flies. Small fish fry have also been recorded in the diet. 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).
White wagtails are monogamous and defend breeding territories. The breeding season for most is from April to August, with the season starting later further north. Both sexes are responsible for building the nest, with the male responsible for initiating the nest building and the female for finishing the process. For second broods in the subspecies personata the female alone builds the nest, which is a rough cup assembled from twigs, grass, leaves and other plant matter, as the male is still provisioning the young. It is lined with soft materials, including animal hair. 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. One nest was found in the skull of a walrus. White wagtails will nest in association with other animals: particularly, where available, the dams of beavers and also inside the nests of golden eagles. Around three to eight eggs are laid, with the usual number being four to six. The eggs are cream-coloured, often with a faint bluish-green or turquoise tint, and heavily spotted with reddish brown; they measure, on average, 21 mm × 15 mm (0.83 in × 0.59 in). Both parents incubate the eggs, although the female generally does so for longer and incubates at night. The eggs begin to hatch after 12 days (sometimes as late as 16 days). Both parents feed the chicks until they fledge after between 12 and 15 days, and the chicks are fed for another week after fledging.
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. Moksnes et al. theorised that this occurs because the wagtail is too small to push the intruding egg out of the nest, and too short-billed to destroy the egg by puncturing it.
This species has a large range, with an estimated extent of more than 10 million km2 (3.8 million sq mi). The population size is between 130 and 230 million. Population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated to be of least concern. The population in Europe appears to be stable. The species has adapted well to human changes to the environment and has exploited human changes such as man-made structures that are used for nesting sites and increased open areas that are used for foraging. In a number of cities, notably Dublin, large flocks gather in winter to roost. They are therefore rated as of least concern. However, they are caught for sport and often then placed into collections. They are also kept as pets and eaten as food. Climate change may be affecting the time of their migration.
They have featured on stamps from Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Finland, Georgia, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Jersey, Kuwait, Latvia, Norway, Vietnam and Poland. The white wagtail is the national bird of Latvia, and has been often mentioned in Latvian folk songs.
M. pectore nigro, recticibus duabus lateralibus dimidiato oblique albis.
white, pale...(adjective#1, definition 3)
The African pied wagtail, or African wagtail, (Motacilla aguimp) is a species of bird in the family Motacillidae.Cresmina Dune
The Cresmina Dune extends over 66 hectares and is a part of the Guincho-Oitavos dune system, located on the edge of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park near Cascais in Portugal. This dune system is considered fairly unique because, as a result of the prevailing northwest winds, the sand from the Guincho and Cresmina beaches eventually returns to the sea 5km further to the south near Guia, after migrating over the flat, rocky and largely uninhabited area of Cabo Raso.Gulbenkian Park
The Gulbenkian Park also known as Gulbenkian Garden is located in Lisbon, Portugal. It was created in 1969 and is part of the cultural center where the headquarters of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Gulbenkian Museum and the José de Azeredo Perdigão Modern Art Centre are situated enriching the cultural importance of the garden.
The park is spread over an area of 7.5 hectares (19 acres) and has one large and another small lake within it.Higashimurayama, Tokyo
Higashimurayama (東村山市, Higashi-murayama-shi) is a city located in the western portion of Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. As of 1 February 2016, the city had an estimated population of 150,984, and a population density of 8810 persons per km². Its total area is 17.14 square kilometres (6.62 sq mi)..Järveküla Nature Reserve
Järveküla Nature Reserve is a nature reserve founded in 1990, situated by Lake Vörtsjärv in southern Estonia (Viljandi County) near the village of Järveküla. The nature reserve has been established to protect the population of white-tailed eagles present in the area, and includes pine forest and patches of bog.Other birds found in Järveküla Nature Reserve include: the Barn swallow (the national bird of Estonia), Eurasian wryneck, Eurasian golden oriole, Icterine warbler, River warbler, Spotted flycatcher, Eurasian tree sparrow, Common chaffinch, European greenfinch, European pied flycatcher, Eurasian skylark, Fieldfare, White wagtail, Yellowhammer, Hooded crow, Garden warbler, Grey heron, Eurasian blue tit, Eurasian blackcap, Common rosefinch, European goldfinch and Common chiffchaff among others.Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary is a forest located near Visakhapatnam. It is under the control of Andhra Pradesh Forest Department since 10 March 1970. Earlier the land was under the control of Maharajah of Vizianagaram. It was named after the local hillock Kambalakonda. It is a dry evergreen forest mixed with scrub and meadows and covers an area of 70.70 square kilometers. The indicator species is the Indian leopard.List of birds of Islamabad
This is a list of birds found in Islamabad, Pakistan. Seventy-two species of birds have been found in this area. The best places to watch are Margalla Hills and Rawal Lake.
Little grebe, Tachybaptus ruficollis
Little cormorant, Microcarbo niger
Great cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo
Black-crowned night heron, Nycticorax nycticorax
Indian pond heron (Paddybird), Ardeola grayii
Cattle egret, Bubulcus ibis
Little egret, Egretta garzetta
Intermediate egret, Egretta intermedia
Grey heron, Ardea cinerea
Purple heron, Ardea purpurea
Common teal, Anas crecca
Black kite, Milvus migrans
Shikra, Accipiter badius
Long-legged buzzard, Buteo rufinus
Eurasian kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
Grey francolin, Francolinus pondicerianus
Common quail, Coturnix coturnix
Brown waterhen, Amaurornis akool
White-breasted waterhen, Amaurornis phoenicurus
Moorhen, Gallinula chloropus
Eurasian coot, Fulica atra
Red-wattled lapwing, Hoplopterus indicus
Common sandpiper, Actitis hypoleucos
Black-headed gull, Larus ridibundus
Feral pigeon, Columba livia
Wood pigeon, Columba palumbus
Collared dove, Streptopelia decaocto
Palm dove, Spilopelia senegalensis
Spotted dove, Spilopelia chinensis
Rose-ringed parakeet, Psittacula krameri
Common koel, Eudynamys scolopacea
Greater coucal, Centropus sinensis
House swift, Apus affinis
White-throated kingfisher, Halcyon smyrnensis
Pied kingfisher, Ceryle rudis
Hoopoe, Upupa epops
Lesser golden-backed woodpecker, Dinopium benghalense
Brown-fronted woodpecker, Dendrocopos auriceps
Crested lark, Galerida cristata
Small skylark, Alauda gulgula
Brown-throated sand martin, Riparia paludicola
Pale sand martin, Riparia diluta
Barn swallow, Hirundo rustica
Red-rumped swallow, Hirundo daurica
Paddyfield pipit, Anthus rufulus
Grey wagtail, Motacilla cinerea
White wagtail, Motacilla alba
Large pied wagtail, Motacilla maderaspatensis
Himalayan bulbul, Pycnonotus leucogenys
Red-vented bulbul, Pycnonotus cafer
Dark-grey bushchat, Saxicola ferrea
Blue rock thrush, Monticola solitarius
Blue whistling thrush, Myophonus caeruleus
Fan-tailed warbler, Cisticola juncidis
Tawny prinia, Prinia inornata
Yellow-bellied prinia, Prinia flaviventris
Hume's leaf warbler, Phylloscopus humei
White-throated fantail, Rhipidura albicollis
Black-chinned babbler, Stachyris pyrrhops
Common babbler, Turdoides caudatus
Jungle babbler, Turdoides striatus
Great tit, Parus major
Bar-tailed treecreeper, Certhia himalayana
Oriental white-eye, Zosterops palpebrosus
Rufous-backed shrike, Lanius schach
Black drongo, Dicrurus macrocercus
House crow, Corvus splendens
Brahminy starling, Sturnus pagodarum
Common myna, Acridotheres tristis
Bank myna, Acridotheres ginginianus
House sparrow, Passer domesticus
Alexandrine parakeet, Psittacula eupatria
Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis
Rufous treepie, Dendrocitta vagabunda
Indian robin, Saxicoloides fulicatusLotus Pond
Lotus Pond is a small water body Inside MLA Colony, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, India. The pond is surrounded by lush green flora and a 1.2 kilometer path.
Lotus Pond is home to more than 20 species of birds. A few of them are pied kingfisher, white wagtail, common moorhen, little grebe, sunbirds, common coot, and little egret.
The pond is maintained by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC).
The Lotus Pond was conceived to be an eco-conservation project bringing natural elements into the concept of the project without disturbing the ecosystem and conserving the natural rocks and pond.
The launch of the construction of the project was on 20 November 1999. The work was completed in late 2001.M. alba
M. alba may refer to:
Morus alba, the white mulberry, a short-lived, fast-growing, small to medium-sized mulberry tree species native to northern China
Motacilla alba, the white wagtail, a small passerine bird species found in much of Europe, Asia and parts of north AfricaMekong wagtail
The Mekong wagtail (Motacilla samveasnae) is a species of bird in the family Motacillidae. It was first described in 2001 and named in honour of the late Cambodian ornithologist Sam Veasna. It is a black and white bird, similar in appearance to the African pied wagtail, although their ranges do not overlap. Its facial features and distinctive voice distinguish it from other black and white wagtails in southeastern Asia.
The Mekong wagtail is found in the Mekong valley of Cambodia and Laos, and is a non-breeding visitor to Thailand and Vietnam. Its typical habitat is rocky areas beside fast-flowing stretches of river where seasonal flooding occur. Although tolerant of humans, it is threatened by large scale alterations to its habitat such as inundation of riverine habitat following damming of the river.Mikasa, Hokkaido
Mikasa (三笠市, Mikasa-shi) is a city located in Sorachi Subprefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. As of September 2016, the city has an estimated population of 9,056, and the density of 30 persons per km2.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.Nam Phong National Park
Nam Phong National Park (Thai: อุทยานแห่งชาติน้ำพอง) is a national park in Thailand's Khon Kaen and Chaiyaphum provinces. This mountainous park, in two separate sections, encompasses part of the Ubol Ratana Dam reservoir and also features rock formations and cliff-top viewpoints. The park is named for the Nam Phong River, impounded by the dam.Pirkanmaa
Pirkanmaa (Swedish: Birkaland, also known as Tampere Region in government documents), is a region of Finland. It borders the regions of Satakunta, South Ostrobothnia, Central Finland, Päijät-Häme, Kanta-Häme and Southwest Finland.Rosh HaNikra Islands
The Rosh HaNikra Islands (Hebrew: איי ראש הנקרה, Iye Rosh Hanikra) are a group of three Israeli islands in the Mediterranean Sea, named Shahaf, Nahalieli and T'chelet. The islands are located approximately 800 meters offshore, near Rosh HaNikra. These islands are a single geological unit with the Achziv Islands, that are further south.
The depth of the sea water around them is approximately between 7 and 9 meters. The Rosh HaNikra Islands are characterized by many natural pools that provide a natural habitat for various life forms.
The Rosh HaNikra Islands are a part of a natural reserve, and boarding these islands is prohibited. These islands are the only place in Israel where certain rare birds nest: the White wagtail, The European herring gull and the Common tern. The waters surrounding these islands contain a rich variety of marine life.
In ancient days, these islands had a certain economic and commercial significance as they were a natural habitat for the sea snail from which Tyrian purple dye was produced.St John's Square
St John's Square (Maltese: Pjazza San Ġwann, or Piazza san Giovanni) is found in front of St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, the capital of Malta. It has several outdoor cafés, surrounded by a graceful arcade.
In the middle of the square, facing the parvis and entrance to the cathedral, there is a small monument to former Prime Minister of Malta Enrico Mizzi, sculpted in 1964 by Vincent Apap (1909–2003). To the left and right of the cathedral entrance, are the Lion and Unicorn fountains, sculpted out of the native limestone by Maltese sculptor Mariano Gerada (1766–1823), which originally featured water transported to Valletta from the highlands around Mdina by means of the Wignacourt Aqueduct.Although this pjazza is today a favourite meeting place in the heart of Malta's baroque capital city, its origins are relatively recent. It did not form part of the original plans of the city, as drafted by the Knights' architect, Francesco Laparelli. Prior to the Second World War, two large apartment buildings with street-level store fronts stood on this location, divided by the narrow street then referred to as Strada San Zaccaria (now, Triq San Żakkarija). However, these buildings suffered massive damage due to aerial bombardment during the War. During the reconstruction years following the War, the Government of Malta requisitioned the central portion of both these buildings, to create the square that exists today.
St. John's Square is one of the few "green" areas in Valletta, as it has several large ficus trees that were planted along the facade of the cathedral in the 1920s. A decision to remove some or all of these trees due to the potential damage that their roots might cause to the cathedral's priceless marble floors, was met with considerable public outcry. These trees are considered an important bird area for the white wagtail, which migrates from European breeding grounds every year to spend the winter in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and northeastern Africa. This decision is being challenged by, among others, the Valletta Rehabilitation Project, whose executive co-ordinator has been quoted as saying, "St John's is mostly built on solid rock, so there are no vaults through which the roots could penetrate the church as has been suggested."Sultanpur National Park
Sultanpur National Park (Hindi: सुल्तानपुर राष्ट्रीय वन्यजीव अभयारण्य) (formerly Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary) is located at Sultanpur village on Gurugram-Jhajhar highway, 15 km from Gurugram, Haryana and 50 km from Delhi in India.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.Yashio, Saitama
Yashio (八潮市, Yashio-shi) is a city located in Saitama Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 February 2016, the city had an estimated population of 86,854, and a population density of 4820 persons per km². Its total area is 18.02 square kilometres (6.96 sq mi).