Motacilla alba yarrellii - Pied Wagtail

Phylum: Chordata - Class: Aves - Order: Passeriformes - Family: Motacillidae

Pied Wagtail

As well as having its own resident pied wagtails, Wales provides winter homes to many pied wagtails from the north of Scotland. Its tail-wagging antics make this an easy bird to recognise. They are birds of open farmland, only occasionally visiting gardens.

The male and female are quite similar, but the female has a greyer back and in summer the male has a much larger black bib. In winter, the male is dark grey and both male and female have just a crescent-shaped black bib.

Insects are the staple diet of these pretty birds, and hence they spend quite a lot of time near water.

Pied wagtails build their nests in holes in banks or walls, often near to water. They use dried grass, hair and wool as nesting material. Four to six eggs is normal.


Pictures shown on this page were kindly contributed by Melvin Grey.

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