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Common name Western yellow wagtail
Scientific name Motacilla flava
Type Farmland birds
Status Summer

Small terrestrial bird (about 17 cm or 6.5 in) with a characteristic black long tail with white outer feathers which it usually moves rhythmically. Long legs. Yellow abdomen and olive brown back. Wings of black or dark colour, with clear and yellow stripes below. Head of grey colour with throat and a white eyebrow very marked. Legs and bill of black colour.



Where it lives

Grasslands, plains, pastures, crops, streams, groves and open and moist areas in general.

How it lives

Summer species that breeds in Malaga, where specimens in migratory passage are observed, too, and recently some wintering specimens in the mouth of the Vélez River. The breeding begins in March. It makes two layings of 4 to 6 eggs. Nest on the ground. Strictly insectivorous diet. Bird very linked to the ground, more of a walker than a flier.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Very frequent and common bird in practically all the Great Path.

Curious facts

In Malaga wagtails are known as "pipitas", probably because of the typical call they make when flying. The Western Yellow Wagtail is traditionally associated with cattle, hence the name of the species in Spanish: "lavandera boyera", which in English stands for "drover washerwoman". It was a regular visitor of the pasturelands and meadows used by cattle.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration