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Yellow Wagtail

About Yellow Wagtail

Slender with a long tail and long toes. Male has greenish shoulders and wings, two pale wing bars; blackish-brown tail with white edges. Crown bright yellow, black, white, or bluish-gray in breeding season depending on local race. Black legs. The female is duller.

The Yellow Wagtail breeds in the spring and summer. It builds a well hidden cup-shaped nest of grass, stems and roots lined with hair on the ground. The female will lay 5-6 pale buff or gray eggs, speckled with yellowish-buff or brown-buff, and are incubated by the female for 12-14 days.

The Yellow Wagtail is a summer visitor in the north. Many of these birds spend the winter in the drier African plains; and while there they feed at the feet of grazing animals, such as zebras and antelope, running to snap up insects disturbed by their hooves. They will even pick ticks and other bloodsuckers from the animals’ skin.

When they return to breed they will do the same thing, only following horses and cattle. While they migrate, they will roost at night in mass.