New Ecopsychology
or Spiritual Ecology

FAMILY: PIPITS AND WAGTAILS

White Wagtail & Yellow Wagtail

(Motacilla alba, Motacilla flava)

White Wagtail

These birds, in search for food, usually run on the ground, continuously shaking their tails.

White and yellow wagtails are the widely distributed.

From these two kinds, the white wagtail (photo at the right) is known to people better. Its coloration is light-grey, with white and black marks. Confusing it with other birds is difficult, especially when it, not hiding, minces before you on a road and incessantly shakes its tail.

This bird lives more often on banks of water reservoirs with sandy shallows and beaches. Its nest is always hidden very well. It can be among roots, which hang down from a bank undermined by water, in a stack of firewood on a glade, under a slate roof, behind a casing of a window, in holes, old pipes, and even inside dumped cars. From outside, a nest is lined with blades, from inside with feathers and hair.

They sing very seldom, but very beautiful.

Yellow wagtail

And on meadows, the yellow wagtail settles. It is bright, like a flower, and have a habit of sitting constantly on a big blade of grass or on a top of a lonely bush. This is its observation post. The song of the male consists of only soft "tzi". But he displays with his entire body, beautifully inflating the breast and finely "trembling" by wings in front of his beloved. They usually build a nest simply on the ground or in a pit, under overhanging grass. Both parents feed the young, but they do not come near the nest if they see that somebody watches them.

They eat mainly flies and other insects. Yellow wagtails run so quickly, that their legs are almost invisible. They frequently accompany grazing herds, eating insects that are attracted to the cattle. Sometimes they even travel on the backs of grazing animals, flying up from time to time to catch another fly. In August, young birds together with adults depart to far Africa for wintering.

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