Eastern Yellow Wagtail

Scientific Name: Motacilla tschutschensis

Malay Name: Pipit-Batu Zaitun Timur

Chinese Name: 黄鹡鸰

Range: Breeding range includes northeastern China, eastern Russia, Alaska. Wintering range includes most of Southeast Asia and includes Australia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: plexa, tschutschensis, macronyx, taivana.

Size: 17 cm

Identification: Amount of yellow on underparts variable, in non-breeding plumage generally has whitish underparts with greyish-brown upperparts. Individuals in breeding plumage observed in Singapore have grey cap and nape with all yellow throat and underparts. Compared to Grey Wagtail in non-breeding plumage, has dark legs, more olive or brownish mantle and lacks yellow rump.

Similar looking species: Citrine Wagtail, Grey Wagtail

Habitat: Variety of open habitats with grass cover, has preference for moist or 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: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Recorded across many locations in Singapore, including Lim Chu Kang, Lorong Halus, Yishun.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Eastern Yellow Wagtail Motacilla tschutschensis
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Dec 24-Dec 30
Early date 23 Aug 2003
Late date 12 May 2002
The commonest wagtail in Singapore. Early arrivals in Sep and late departures in Apr.


BirdLife International. (2019). Motacilla tschutschensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T103822471A154735918.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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