Yesterday, I saw a Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinera) hopping around in the mud. Its vivid lemony yellow plumage was certainly a welcome and striking sight on the barren, dreary winter scape. It immediately made me want to learn the name of the bird and as much about its natural history as I could. That has been happening a lot to me recently when I see birds. Perhaps, it is just because I’m a wildlife nerd…
Does anyone else get that feeling when they see an animal in the wild or is it just me? Also, if you have a favourite native bird in your home country. Don’t be shy. Comment! It would be great to hear from you.
A Grey Wagtails natural history (for those who are interested)
The name grey wagtail may appear deceptive, now we have seen a picture of the bird… The distinctive pop of colour, you would rationally think would earn the bird the name yellow wagtail. Well, there is already a wagtail that has earned the name yellow wagtail. With a plumage that is fully donned with the lemon yellow plumage, it means that they grey wagtail was destined to be named after its other predominant colour instead; grey. The birds live on a diet of insects, so are insectivores. They can be seen chasing their insect pray along bodies of water as they often like to live near rivers and streams in upland areas. They also like to live in lowland areas and can be found all over in Great Britain. There range also expands to Europe. Grey wagtails sing both in flight and when perched. Their call is very high pitched and varies from a light twittering to whistling sounds. They breed in April-July and nest in grassy cups hidden in cavities near water. They lay 4-6 eggs and young leave the nest from day 12 -13.