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White Wagtail

Motacilla alba


A varient form of wagtail. See Malcolm's notes below.


This little guy was hunting in a sandy parking lot by the beach on the Adriatic Sea.


This looks a bit different from the pictures of wagtails in my bird book, but it was certainly wagging its tail. It's just a color variant, or a cross between two closely related species.

1 Species ID Suggestions

AshleyL 8 years ago
Juvenile White Wagtail
Motacilla alba White wagtail

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Ava T-B
Ava T-B 8 years ago

Thanks for the ID help, Malcolm!

Motacilla alba has several variants which have different head patterns when they become adults as well as differences between male and female and different Common names.
In most of Europe, M.a.alba = White Wagtail.
In UK, Ireland and nearby continent M.a.yarrellii = Pied Wagtail.
In North Africa (Morocco) M.a.subpersonata = White Wagtail.
Other sub-species can be found in Asia and Alaska.
Outside the breeding season Wagtails of most types can become very confusing and with overlapping migration routes almost anything is possible. Some sub-species have Common names based on where they breed, and most countries have their own Common Names which are not necessarily direct translations to the English Common Names, which can also vary considerably according to location. Prefixes and suffixes are rarely used in England where the RSPB convention is generally followed.

Ava T-B
Spotted by
Ava T-B

Spotted on Jul 27, 2015
Submitted on Nov 30, 2015

Spotted for Mission

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