White Wagtail

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Pied Wagtail

Native Habitat

Lake, River, Nala




White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

The White Wagtail is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family. This species breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa.

This is 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.

This is a slender bird, 20 cm in length, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. It is grey above and white below, with a white face, black cap and black throat.

The call of the White Wagtail is a sharp chisick, slightly softer than the version given by Pied Wagtail. The song is a pleasant twittering, more regular in White than Pied, but with little territorial significance, since the male uses a series of contact calls to attract the female.

Regional Names
  • Assamese:
    বগা বালিমাহী
  • Bengali:
    ধলা খঞ্জন, সাদা খঞ্জন
  • French:
    Bergeronnette grise
  • Gujarati:
    દીવાળી ઘોડો
  • Hindi:
  • Malayalam:
    വെള്ള വാലുകുലുക്കി
  • Marathi:
    पांढरा धोबी, टेंबली (आदिवासी भाग)
  • Nepali:
    सेतो टिकटिके
  • Tamil:
    வெள்ளை வாலாட்டிக் குருவி
Media Gallery

Motacilla alba