Pied Wagtail

Pied Wagtail

Scientific name: Motacilla alba

Did you know: The Pied Wagtail, a bird known for its distinctive tail movement, can live up to 11 years, a remarkable feat for such a sprightly creature!

What Do Pied Wagtails Look Like? (how to identify them)

The Pied Wagtail is a small, long-tailed bird, easily recognisable by its energetic white and black plumage. Its constant tail wagging adds to its charm, making it a delightful sight in both urban and rural settings.

Differences Between Male And Female Pied Wagtails

Males typically display more pronounced black and white markings, with a strikingly white face and belly. Females, while similar in pattern, tend to have a more subdued grey tone replacing some of the black, giving them a softer appearance.

What Do Pied Wagtails Eat?

Primarily insectivores, Pied Wagtails feast on insects like flies and beetles. In winter, their diet diversifies to include seeds and occasionally household scraps, adapting to the scarcity of insects.

Where Do Pied Wagtails Live? (inc. migration info)

Ubiquitous across the UK, Pied Wagtails are found in a variety of habitats, including urban areas, farmlands, wetlands, and coastal regions. They generally remain in Britain throughout the year but may migrate locally to more urban settings during colder months.

Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Pied Wagtails)

The Pied Wagtail’s call is a distinctive, cheerful ‘chissick’, often heard during its bouncing flight. Their song is a melodious and rhythmic chatter, adding a musical note to their presence.

Fun Pied Wagtail Facts (kid friendly)

  • Pied Wagtails can often be seen dashing across lawns or car parks.
  • They are known for their unique tail wagging, which never seems to stop.
  • These birds prefer empty areas when feeding, making them easier to spot in open spaces.
  • Pied Wagtails are adaptable and can forage in urban areas like car parks.
  • They nest in crevices within walls and other structures, both natural and man-made.
  • In winter, Pied Wagtails may flock to roost in city centres or other warm, sheltered areas.
  • Despite their small size, they can live surprisingly long lives.
  • They are a common sight in gardens, especially those with lawns or ponds.
  • Pied Wagtails are often seen near water, like streams and rivers.
  • During cold weather, their visits to gardens increase significantly.

Facts About The Pied Wagtail

Diet: Mainly insects, may eat seeds and household scraps in winter.
Bird Family: Pipits and wagtails
Length: 18cm
Wingspan: 25-30cm
Weight: 17-25g
Scientific Name: Motacilla alba

The Pied Wagtail Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

Pied Wagtail Images

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Male
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Female
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Hatchling
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Nestling
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Chick
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Fledgling
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Juvenile