Pied Wagtail – Motacilla alba

The Pied Wagtail is a familiar black and white bird, commonly found all-year-round throughout the British Isles. These delightful little birds can be seen gathering in large roosts at dusk, in towns and cities.

Identification

Male: Mainly black upperparts with a white face, white margins to flight feathers and a white outer tail. A black bib ends in a broad, black breast band, with the remaining underparts white.
Female: Similar to the male colouring, but with a slate-grey back.
Juvenile: Juveniles and first winter birds have grey backs instead of black and a grey face, unlike the distinctive white face of the adult.
Size: 17—18cm.
Bill: Black, short and thin.
Legs: Black, medium length.
Habitat: Inland freshwater, fields and gardens.
Behaviour: Walks, perches openly, takes off/lands from vegetation or ground.
Flocking: 1—10. At dusk, Pied Wagtails roost in large numbers.
Flight: Undulating.
Voice: Harsh chis – ick and disjointed twittering.

Breeding

Nest: Cup-shaped nest on the ground.
Eggs: 5—6. Grey, with brown speckles.
Incubation period: 12—14 days.
Fledgeling: 13—16 days.
Broods: 2. April—June.
Food: Insects.
UK breeding pairs: 500,000.

Suggested feed

Countrywide Dried Mealworms, Suet Fat Balls.

Back to top