Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Yellow Wagtail as Estonian bird 2006


The yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, whose nearest relatives are the white wagtail, the citrine wagtail and the grey wagtail.

It is a slender 15–16 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 colours and patterns depending on subspecies.The call is a characteristic high-pitched jeet The yellow wagtail is insectivorous bird that nests in tussocks, laying 4-8 speckled eggs.

The species is distributed in large parts of Eurasia, North Africa and Western Alaska. Sixteen races can be identified through its range, differing from each other by the pattern and colour of the head. Two of the races are found in Estonia. The yellow wagtail breeds in wet grasslands such as water meadows and open countryside near the sea. Feeding mostly on invertebrates, it is a good assistant to the farmer. The yellow wagtail is a protected species, being relatively common in Estonia at present, but destruction of its habitats by grasslands overgrowing with brush and reduction of animal breeding could cut down its population to critical.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...