Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Yellow wagtail

Motacilla flava

Photo by Andreas Gruber (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Motacillidae

This birds breed in most of temperate Europe and Asia and are even present in North America, in Alaska. Resident in parts of western and southern Europe, the northern and eastern populations winter in Africa and southern Asia. The Alaskan population winters along the Pacific coast of North America.

The yellow wagtail is 15-17 cm long. they have a wingspan of 23-27 cm and weigh 14-24 g.

They occur in open habitats near water, namely wet grasslands, salt and fresh water marshes, and riversides with reeds.

Yellow wagtails are insectivorous, mostly eating small insects like flies and beetles.

They nest in April-June. The nest is placed on a vegetation tussock or on the ground, with the female laying 4-8 speckled eggs. The eggs are incubated for 12-13 days, mostly by the female, and the chicks are fed by both parents until fledging 14-15 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
Although the population seems to have undergone a moderate decline since the 1980s, they have an extremely large breeding range and a large population estimated at 50.000.000-150.000.000. the species is not threatened at present.

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