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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

The White Wagtail (Motacilla Alba)

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Clickhere for the bird's sound.

photo of White Wagtail, Motacilla Alba photo of White Wagtail, Motacilla Alba

The White Wagtail can easily be recognised by its behaviour when it is hopping through a grassfield or on the road nervously wagging its tail.

In the Dutch countryside this is a very common bird. Especially when you're on a walk or cycling in the less populated areas you sometimes see lots of them hopping on the roads. They walk about quickly on the asphalt, wagling their long tail. The bird is rather shy so every time you try to approach it too close it'll quickly fly away a hundred meters away. Therefore it's a challenge to photograph this bird really well. It's not so common a bird in the garden. Only on rare occasions I could spot it on the garden path and on the roof of the house.

This bird belongs to the family of Wagtails (Motacillidae). It is rare in our garden and can be seen in Holland from april till october. The bird is 7" and weighs 23 grams. It lives in countryside mostly. It eats insects. Compared to the male, the female is slightly paler. It breeds in holes or hollow tree stems. The five or six eggs usually hatch after 13 days. The young grow quickly, for after just over two weeks they leave the nest.

photo of White Wagtail, Motacilla Alba photo of White Wagtail, Motacilla Alba Line

Name of this bird in various other languages
Dutch German French Polish Scientific
Witte Kwikstaart Bachstelze Bergereonnette grise Pliszka siwa Motacilla alba


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