A project of the SRITA Association

White wagtail

The white wagtail (Motacilla alba) is a passerine bird from the family of wagtails (Motacillidae) nesting in Europe and Asia. It is a very common bird in Romania, it has adapted to very different environments. We will find this bird on mountainous areas, hillsides, plains, villages but avoids forests. It is a migratory bird, we can see them between the months of February-November.

The body length is 18 cm, the wingspan 25-30 cm, weight 17-25 grams. Feathers of both female and male are identical. They have longs tails, constantly wagging it, hence the name. The feathers are black and white, the back parts being grey, the underparts white, meanwhile the throat and top of head are black. The nest is built on the ground or close to the ground, or even on the roofs of buildings in villages. The female lays 5-6 eggs, the little ones hatch in 12-13 days, leaving the nest in 14-15 days.

The European population is estimated to 13-26 million pairs, the number of those nesting in Romania is estimated to 1.5-1.9 million pairs. The oldest ringed white wagtail was 12 years old at the time it was caught again.