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Juvenile Pied Wagtail (Motacilla Alba)

(PID:50130715382) Source
posted by Sharon Emma Goldring alias Sharon Emma Photography on Sunday 19th of July 2020 06:45:08 PM

Juvenile pied wagtail fluffing up, photographed in my Mother's back garden, Storrington, West Sussex, UK. I was lucky see all 5 babies fledge, they are regular visitors and always a joy to watch. The pied wagtail is a delightful small, long-tailed and rather sprightly black and white bird. When not standing and frantically wagging its tail up and down it can be seen dashing about over lawns or car parks in search of food. It frequently calls when in its undulating flight and often gathers at dusk to form large roosts in city centres. The pied wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a small passerine bird in the family Motacillidae, which also includes pipits and longclaws. The species breeds in much of Europe and the Asian Palearctic and parts of North Africa. It has a toehold in Alaska as a scarce breeder. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa. In Ireland and Great Britain, the darker subspecies, the pied wagtail or water wagtail (M. a. yarrellii) predominates. In total, there are between 9 and 11 subspecies. Wagtails are 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. It is the national bird of Latvia and has featured on the stamps of several countries. Though it is 'of least concern', there are several threats against it, like being kept as pets and being used as food. Wagtails are monogamous and defend breeding territories. The breeding season for most is from April to August, with the season starting later further north. Both sexes are responsible for building the nest, with the male responsible for initiating the nest building and the female for finishing the process. The nest is set into a crevice or hole, traditionally in a bank next to a river or ditch, but the species has also adapted to nesting in walls, bridges and buildings. One nest was found in the skull of a walrus. Around three to eight eggs are laid, with the usual number being four to six. The eggs are cream-coloured, often with a faint bluish-green or turquoise tint, and heavily spotted with reddish brown; they measure, on average, 21 mm à 15 mm (0.83 in à 0.59 in). Both parents incubate the eggs, although the female generally does so for longer and incubates at night. The eggs begin to hatch after 12 days (sometimes as late as 16 days). Both parents feed the chicks until they fledge after between 12 and 15 days, and the chicks are fed for another week after fledging.



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  • Published 10.19.21
  • Resolution 1024x683
  • Image type jpg
  • File Size 224331 byte.

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