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236 illustration

Pied wagtail

Motacilla alba

Description:
About 18 centimetres in length, this slender bird has a long, narrow, black and white tail that it constantly wags up and down. It is grey above with a black crown and nape, and white below.

Habitat:
The wagtail is found across Europe, spending winters in the Middle East and northeast Africa. It breeds in various habitats, often in open cultivated country close to human settlements and water.

Habits:
Walking with jerky head movements, the distinctive characteristic of the wagtail is its almost constant tail wagging. It feeds on insects, including beetles, dragonflies, spiders and worms. The nest is set into a crevice or hole and is made of twigs, grass and leaves.

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