The wagtail - Wanted poster


Surname: Wagtail
Other names: /
Latin name: Motacilla alba
class: Birds
size: about 10cm body length + 10cm tail length
mass: about 25g
Older: 5 - 8 years
Appearance: black and white plumage
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Insects, worms, arachnids
distribution: Eurasia, Alaska
original origin: Europe
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: relatively unspecific; Parks, open landscapes, coastal areas, near standing and running waters
natural enemies: Magpie, falcon, fox, crow, marten, weasel
sexual maturity: with the second year of life
mating season: April - August
breeding season: about 14 days
clutch size: 4 - 7 eggs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the Wagtail

  • The wagtail or Motacilla alba describes a songbird within the stilts, which is unmistakable due to its fast triplet and its teetering long tail.
  • The wagtail is a part of the species and is native to all parts of Europe, as well as Greenland and Alaska.
  • It lives primarily as a soil inhabitant and likes to populate open landscapes near waters. So it is mainly found on streams, but often in public parks, on meadows and in gravel pits.
  • In rapid walking, she moves on the ground in search of food. In the air, a wagtail can reach speeds of up to forty kilometers per hour.
  • Wagtails are easily recognizable not only by their gait and the tilt of their tail, but also by the characteristic black and white drawing of their plumage.
  • The head, throat and tail, as well as beak and legs of the wagtail, are colored deep black, face and belly are white, while the back appears light gray.
  • The total body length of wagtail is about twenty centimeters, with almost half of it being accounted for by the tail.
  • The wagtail reaches a weight of about 25 grams.
  • It feeds mainly on small insects, spiders, worms and larvae.
  • Wagtails build their nests in well-hidden places such as tree trunks, stone or woodpiles, sheds or wall columns.
  • Today, however, they also like to breed in urban areas where their nests are often found in new buildings and allotments.
  • They breed up to three times a season. From April, the female lays a maximum of seven white, dark spotted eggs in the moss-softly padded nest, which incubates it for about two weeks. The last brood usually flies out in August.
  • After hatching, the chicks are fed by both parents for another two weeks before leaving the nest.
  • Among the natural enemies of the wagtail include hawks, crows, magpies and sparrowhawks, as well as weasels, martens and cats.
  • The life expectancy of the Wagtail is about eight years in the wild.