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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Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):


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