Alvéola-branca © Diogo Oliveira

White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

The White Wagtail is another representative of the Motacilidae family.

It resembles Gray Wagtail but is distinguished from this by the black-and-white combination of its plumage. It is an insectivorous bird of slender lines and often seen walking on the lawns while swinging its the long tail. The scientific name of the White Wagtail refers precisely the habit of wagging the tail frequently (such as its counterpart) and the whitish hue of its plumage.

White Wagtails are wintering birds from other countries in Europe. They stay in overnight in dormitories that often include many hundreds of individuals and remain in our territory until early March, when they return to their nesting places.

Text: João E. Rabaça