French: Bergeronnette printanière German: Schafstelze Spanish: Lavandera boyera
Other common names:
Subspecies and Distribution
M. f. thunbergi
Billberg, 1828 – Grey-headed Wagtail – Scandinavia E to NW Siberia; winters mainly sub-Saharan Africa and across S & SE Asia.
M. f. flavissima
(Blyth, 1834) – British Yellow Wagtail – Britain and adjacent coastal Europe; winters Africa.
M. f. flava
Linnaeus, 1758 – Blue-headed Wagtail – N & C Europe (S from S Scandinavia) E to Urals; winters sub-Saharan Africa.
M. f. beema
(Sykes, 1832) – from upper R Volga E to SW Siberia, S to N Kazakhstan and Altai Mts; winters mainly Indian Subcontinent, also Arabia and E Africa.
M. f. lutea
(S. G. Gmelin, 1774) – Yellow-headed Wagtail – SW Russia (between lower R Volga and R Irtysh, S from Kazan and Perm) and N Kazakhstan (E to L Chany and L Zaysan); winters Africa and Indian Subcontinent.
M. f. feldegg
Michahelles, 1830 – Black-headed Wagtail – SE Europe (Balkans E to S Ukraine), S to Turkey, E Mediterranean, Arabian Peninsula, W Caspian, Iran and N Afghanistan; winters Africa (mainly Nigeria E to Sudan and Uganda).
M. f. melanogrisea
(Homeyer, 1878) – Volga Delta and SW Kazakhstan S to NE Iran and Afghanistan; winters mainly S Asia E to W Nepal, possibly also NE Africa.
M. f. leucocephala
(Przevalski, 1887) – White-headed Wagtail – NW Mongolia, extreme NW China (N Xinjiang) and adjacent parts of former USSR; winters probably mostly in India.
M. f. iberiae
E. J. O. Hartert, 1921 – Iberian Yellow Wagtail – Iberia, SW France and NW Africa (S to islands of Banc d’Arguin, in Mauritania); winters W & NC Africa.
M. f. cinereocapilla
Savi, 1831 – Ashy-headed Wagtail – Italy (including Sardinia and Sicily) and Slovenia; winters Mediterranean coast and CW Africa (Mali E to L Chad).
M. f. pygmaea
(A. E. Brehm, 1854) – resident in Egypt (delta and S along R Nile).
16·5 cm; male 12·3–26·4 g, female 11·2–22·6 g, much variation with season, time of day and locality. Male nominate race in... read more
Song, from perch (often bush or fence post) or in flight, a very brief trill or twitter of 2–... read more
Variety of damp or wet habitats with low vegetation, from damp meadows, marshes, waterside pastures... read more
Food and feeding
Diet includes wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates; also some plant material, especially seeds. Invertebrates range from... read more
Apr–Aug, varying with latitude; 1–2 broods. Monogamous; solitary, territorial breeder. Nest, built mainly by female, a grass... read more
Almost wholly migratory; resident in Egypt (pygmaea), probably at least partially so also... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common to very common; uncommon in some regions, and status of some races uncertain. Estimated European population over 7,000... read more
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