Pipits, Wagtails

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Citrine Wagtail

Total Photos: 2

The Citrine Wagtail is a small passerine. The term citrine refers to its yellowish colouration.

It is a slender, 20 cm long bird, with the long, constantly wagging tail characteristic of the genus Motacilla. The adult male in breeding plumage is basically grey or black above, with white on the remiges, and bright yellow below and on the entire head except for the black nape. In winter plumage, its yellow underparts may be diluted by white, and the head is brownish with a yellowish supercilium. Females look generally like washed-out versions of males in winter plumage.

This species breeds in north central Asia in wet meadows and tundra. It migrates in winter to south Asia, often to highland areas. Its range is expanding westwards, and it is a rare but increasing vagrant to western Europe.

Eastern Yellow Wagtail

Total Photos: 3

Forest Wagtail

Total Photos: 2

This is a distinctive wagtail, the only one placed in the genus Dendronanthus (all other wagtails are placed in Motacilla). The forest wagtail is 18 cm in length, a slender bird with a long tail. The back and crown are olive brown, and the wings are black with two yellow wing bars and white tertial edges. There is a white supercilium, above a dark stripe through the eye. The underparts are white, apart from a black double breast band. The upper breast band is bib-like while the lower band is often broken. Sexes are similar. Young birds are more yellowish on the underside.

Grey Wagtail

Total Photos: 3

The Grey Wagtail breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, such as western Europe, but northern and eastern populations migrates to Africa, South Asia and Papua New Guinea.

This is an insectivorous bird of fast flowing streams, although in winter it will move to slower flowing lowland waters. It nests in crevices in cliffs and rocks, laying 3-6 speckled eggs. This is a slender bird, 17-20cm in length, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is the longest tailed of the European wagtails.

The breeding adult male is basically Grey above and yellow below, with a black throat. Other plumages lack the black throat, and the yellow may be diluted by white except in the under tail area. The call is a sharper version of that of White Wagtail.

Long-billed Pipit

Total Photos: 5

This is a medium-large pipit, 16-17.5 cm long, but is an undistinguished looking species on the ground, mainly sandy grey above and whitish or pale buff below. It is very similar to the tawny pipit, but is slightly larger, has a longer tail and a longer dark bill.

The long-billed pipit's flight is strong and direct, and it gives a characteristic chupp call. Like its relatives, long-billed pipit eats seeds and insects.

The long-billed pipit's breeding habitat is dry open slopes with rocks and low vegetation. The nest is on the ground, with 2-4 eggs being laid.

Olive-backed Pipit

Total Photos: 0

It breeds across South, north Central and East Asia, as well as in the northeast of European Russia. It is a long-distance migrant moving in winter to southern Asia and Indonesia. Sometimes it is also called Indian pipit or Hodgson's pipit, as well as tree pipit owing to its resemblance with the tree pipit. However, its back is more olive-toned and less streaked than that species, and its head pattern is different with a better-marked supercilium.

Greenish brown streaked with darker brown above. Supercilium, double wingbar and outer rectrices whitish. Whitish to buff below streaked with dark brown on breast and flanks. Sexes alike.

Paddy-field Pipit

Total Photos: 3

The Paddyfield Pipit is a small passerine bird in the pipits and wagtail family. It is a resident breeder in open scrub, grassland and cultivation in southern Asia east to the Philippines. Although among the few breeding pipits in the Asian region, identification becomes difficult in winter when several other species migrate into the region. The taxonomy of the species is complex and has undergone considerable changes.

Tawny Pipit

Total Photos: 1

The Tawny Pipit is a medium-large passerine bird which breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia, and northwest Africa. It is a migrant moving in winter to tropical Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

This is a large pipit, 16 centimetres (6.3 in) long, but is an undistinguished looking species on the ground, mainly sandy brown above and pale below. It has shorter wings, tail and legs and a narrower dark bill. It is also less streaked. Its flight is strong and direct, and it gives a characteristic "schip" call.

In south Asia, in winter some care must be taken to distinguish this from other large pipits which winter or are resident in the area, including Richard's pipit, Blyth's pipit and paddyfield pipit. Tawny pipit is insectivorous, like its relatives.

Tree Pipit

Total Photos: 4

The Tree Pipit is a small passerine bird which breeds across most of Europe and temperate western and central Asia. It is a long-distance migrant moving in winter to Africa and southern Asia.

This is a small pipit, which resembles Meadow Pipit. This is an undistinguished looking species, streaked brown above and with black markings on a white belly and buff breast below. It can be distinguished from the slightly smaller Meadow Pipit by its heavier bill and greater contrast between its buff breast and white belly. Tree Pipits more readily perch in trees.

The bird rises a short distance up from a tree, and then parachutes down on stiff wings, the song becoming more drawn out towards the end.

The breeding habitat is open woodland and scrub. The nest is on the ground, with 4–8 eggs being laid. This species is insectivorous, like its relatives, but will also take seeds.

White Wagtail

Total Photos: 2

The White Wagtail is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa.

This is an insectivorous bird of open country, often near habitation and water. It prefers bare areas for feeding, where it can see and pursue its prey. In urban areas it has adapted to foraging on paved areas such as car parks. It nests in crevices in stone walls and similar natural and man-made structures.

This is a slender bird, 20 cm in length, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is grey above and white below, with a white face, black cap and black throat.

The call of the White Wagtail is a sharp chisick, slightly softer than the version given by Pied Wagtail. The song is a pleasant twittering, more regular in White than Pied, but with little territorial significance, since the male uses a series of contact calls to attract the female.

White-browed Wagtail

Total Photos: 3

The White-browed Wagtail is a resident breeder in India and is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. It is found in open freshwater wetland habitats.

It is one of the few Motacilla Wagtails that has adapted well to urban habitats and is often found perched on overhead water storages in residential buildings. The White-browed Wagtail is the largest species of wagtail at 21 cm length. It is a slender bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It has black upperparts, head and breast, with a white supercilium and large white wingbar. The rest of the underparts are white. The female has the black coloration less glossy than in the male. Juveniles are brown-grey where the adult is black.

Yellow Wagtail

Total Photos: 2

The Yellow Wagtail breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, such as western Europe, but northern and eastern populations migrate to Africa and south Asia. It is a slender 15 cm long bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is the shortest tailed of the European wagtails. The breeding adult male is basically olive above and yellow below. In other plumages, the yellow may be diluted by white. The heads of breeding males come in a variety of colors and patterns depending on subspecies.