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Passeriformes > Motacillidae

White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

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Identification

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Fairly common to common in varied open habitats, from wild moorland and wetlands to paved car parks and grassy lawns. Usually seen as singles, pairs, or small groups walking and running around, pumping the long, white-sided tail up and down. Distinctive: all plumages are some bold combination of black, white, and gray. Breeding plumage has black cap and big black throat bib. Back color varies regionally: black to dusky gray in U.K. ("Pied Wagtail") to pale blue-gray or gray elsewhere in Europe.

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Learn more about White Wagtail from…

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds