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Pied Wagtail, Identification, Habitat & Food
By Ark Wildlife
20th August 2013
The Pied Wagtail has a black crown, nape, chin and throat. The forehead and rest of the head is white, the mantle and scapulars are black and the under parts are white. Their flight feathers are greyish-black with white edges. They have a black bill and legs. The youngsters upper parts are brown-grey and the under parts are yellowish-white with greyer flanks and greyish throat. Their wing-feathers are edged with buff.
The Pied Wagtail is sociable and spends the night in communal roosts. It will often follow cattle and not infrequently perches on the backs of domestic stock.
It has a distinctive high-pitched ‘tschissik’ or ‘tschissip’ and, also a ‘ tschik’. Their song is a combination of repeated twittering call-notes uttered both in flight and when perched.
These birds nest from mid-April onwards. Prefers their nests in holes or crevices in buildings, rocks, cliffs, trees etc. They will also nest on the ground and in old, abandoned nests. The nest consists of a mixture of dry grasses, lined with horsehair, wool and feathers. The female builds the nest alone.
Five or six, greyish to blue-white, eggs are laid. These are often speckled and streaked brownish and grey. The female incubates for a period of twelve to fourteen days. They young are tended by both parents and leave the nest after fourteen to fifteen days. Two or three broods in Southerly areas and normally one in the Northern regions.
The Pied Wagtail likes farms, gardens, tundra, open country and inhabited areas. In winter they are found more often on farmland.
They eat insects and their larvae, small molluscs, worms and sometimes seeds.
Where to Feed
Feeder – Not suitable
Table – Not suitable
Ground – Scatter food in the open