Grey Wagtail

Scientific Name: Motacilla cinerea
Malay Name: Pipit-Batu Pinggul Kuning
Chinese Name: 灰鹡鸰 (huī jí líng)

Found from NW Africa to NE Russia, northern Middle East, northern India, northern China, Korea and Japan with some populations wintering south to Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent, southern China and Southeast Asia.

Polytypic. Subspecies are: cinerea, patriciae, schmitzi, melanope, robusta, canariensis

Local subspecies: cinerea but older literature described it as melanope.

Size: 17-20 cm

Identification: Non-breeding adult shows slaty-grey crown and upperparts, narrow whitish supercilium and bright yellow vent. Breeding male has all yellow underparts and distinctive black throat and upper breast. Juvenile resembles non-breeding adult but browner-tinged above.

Similar looking species:  Eastern Yellow Wagtail,   Citrine Wagtail

Habitat: Fast flowing rocky streams and rivers, also wetlands and coasts in winter

Behaviour/Ecology: Feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates including adult flies, mayflies, beetles, crustacea and molluscs. Has the longest tail of the wagtails and its tail is wagged continually.

Local Status: Uncommon passage migrant/winter visitor. An early migratory species, it has been observed between late July to March.

Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Location: Along streams, ponds, drains and canals in Singapore. Bukit Batok West, Rifle Range Link, Jurong Lake Garden, Buona Vista, Bishan Park and Admiralty Park.


External Links:
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Photos: Oriental Bird Images
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

Craig Robson (2011) A Field Guide to the Birds of South-East Asia
David Wells (2007) The Birds of Thai-Malay Peninsula, Volume 2