Picture Yellow Wagtail
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Wagtails get their name because of their tail that wags constantly.
The root of the family and main generic name, means
moving tail. They are in the same family as the pipits and longclaws.
They are slim, small bodied birds (about 7 inches) with tails that are
long and slender and about half the bird's total length.
Wagtails are ground birds that bobs their head in dove-like fashion
and walks rather than hops.
Except when breeding, they are a very social bird.
In summer, black crown, nape, and extensive bib; white face and
under parts; black back, wings, and tail, with large white wing patch
and white outer tail feathers. In fall, adult's black areas mute to grays.
Immatures have olive-gray head and back, with dark throat
band and white eye stripe, under parts, wing bars, and outer tail feathers.
The Yellow Wagtail breeds in Alaska. It is a small bird about
5 1/2 inches long with slender bill, yellow underparts, olive back,
dark wings with some white edges, gray head, and black tail with
white outer tail feathers.
genders are similar, juveniles have duller plumage, paler underparts
and dark malar streaks connecting across the upper breast
Yellow Wagtails can often be found around cattle and horses,
feeding on flies and beetles, that gather around the livestock.
The female builds the nest, on the ground in a hollow
or in thick grass. The nest is cup-shaped and made from grass,
plant stems and roots, with a lining of hair or fur.
The eggs of the Yellow Wagtail are smooth, glossy, and pale
buff or grey with darker buff spots. Newly hatched young are
fed by both adults.
Varieties of Wagtails:
African Pied Wagtail
Black Backed Wagtail
More info on Perching Birds