Citrine Wagtail

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Motacilla citreola

Malay Name: Pipit-Batu Kepala Kuning

Chinese Name: 黄头鹡鸰

Range: Widespread across breeding range from Europe to Asia, wintering range includes India and southeastern Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: citreola, calcarata.

Size: 16.5-20 cm

Identification: Compared to Eastern Yellow Wagtail and Grey Wagtail, key feature to look out for in non-breeding individuals is the supercilium wrapping around ear coverts and connecting to throat, creating the appearance of a distinct, isolated "cheek patch".

Similar looking species: Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail

Habitat: Marshes, fields, and coastal habitats, prefers wet habitats.

Behaviour/Ecology: Similar to other wagtails, forages on ground and wags tail while moving. Can be spotted in flight with undulating flight.

Local Status: Vagrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Citrine Wagtail Motacilla citreola
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Nov 12-Nov 18
Early date 04 Oct 1998
Late date 11 Mar 1989
Only one record in the past 10 years, at Kranji in Nov 2018. Often difficult to tell apart from Eastern Yellow Wagtail - check out our species page linked above for key identifying features!


BirdLife International. (2019). Motacilla citreola. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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