Grey Wagtail

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names


Native Habitat





Grey Wagtail

Motacilla cinerea

The Grey Wagtail breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, such as western Europe, but northern and eastern populations migrates to Africa, South Asia and Papua New Guinea.

This is an insectivorous bird of fast flowing streams, although in winter it will move to slower flowing lowland waters. It nests in crevices in cliffs and rocks, laying 3-6 speckled eggs. This is a slender bird, 17-20cm in length, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is the longest tailed of the European wagtails.

The breeding adult male is basically Grey above and yellow below, with a black throat. Other plumages lack the black throat, and the yellow may be diluted by white except in the under tail area. The call is a sharper version of that of White Wagtail.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    মেটে খঞ্জন
  • Gujarati:
    વન પીળકીયો
  • Kannada:
    ಬೂದು ಸಿಪಿಲೆ
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    करडा धोबी
  • Nepali:
    फुस्रो टिकटिके
  • Tamil:
    சாம்பல்நிற வாலாட்டிக் குருவி
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Motacilla cinerea