Pied/White Wagtail 

(Motacilla alba)

Pied Wagtail

Alert Status: Green - 48% increase


Identifying Features: The pied wagtail is a dainty small, long-tailed and rather sprightly black and white bird. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food.
Average Length: 18 cm
Average Lifespan: 2 years
Average Wingspan: 25-30 cm


Beak type: Insects


Natural: Flies, beetles, moths, caterpillars

How to feed: Using ground feeders is more likely to attract pied wagtails.
What to feed: In the autumn and winter, when insects are scarce, pied wagtails will come into gardens to feed on seeds.  


Nesting: Pied Wagtails build their nest in holes in walls, buildings, or old nests of larger birds. Grass and mosses are used to construct the small cup-shaped nest.
They will use open-fronted nest boxes.


Where to see: Pied wagtails can be found across the UK, leaving some of the highland and northern areas of Scotland in winter. They are best looked for near water and can be found in most habitats, even town centres. They gather together in large roosts, sometimes in towns, often assembling on roofs beforehand.

pied Wagtail call by Anthony McGeehan, X
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