White Wagtail

Scientific Name: Motacilla alba

Malay Name: Pipit-Batu Murai Erasia

Chinese Name: 白鹡鸰

Range: Widespread breeding range from Europe to Asia, wintering range includes Africa, the Middle East, and southern Asia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: yarrellii, alba, subpersonata, personata, baicalensis, ocularis, lugens, leucopsis, alboides.

Local Subspecies: ocularis, lugens, leucopsis, alba

Size: 16.5-18 cm

Identification: Very variable in plumage across range and subspecies, individuals in Singapore can exhibit plumage differences in face, coverts, mantle, and chin. Plumage is a mixture of black, white, and grey compared to other migrant wagtails which generally exhibit some yellow in their plumage and are warmer in colour.

Habitat: Variety of habitats including open fields, storm drains, reservoir edges, seawalls.

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: Yishun, Neo Tiew Harvest Lane.

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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):

White Wagtail Motacilla alba
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Mar 26-Apr 01
Early date 20 Jul 2017
Late date 15 Jun 2018
While there are more records in the second half of the season, early birds arrive as early as September.


BirdLife International. (2019). Motacilla alba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T22718348A137417893.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

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