Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) | Avelgood Apps

This slim wagtail has a narrow white supercilium and a broken eye ring. The upperparts are grey and the yellow vent contrasting with whitish underparts makes it distinctive. The breeding male has a black throat that is edged by whitish moustachial stripes.The species looks similar to the Yellow Wagtail but has the yellow on its underside restricted to the throat and vent. Like other wagtails, they frequently wag their tail and fly low with undulations.

Habitat and Distribution

The bird is widely distributed across the Palearctic region with several well marked populations. The nominate form is from western Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia and Mediterranean region. They winter in Africa and Asia. They sometimes occur on the islands to the West of Alaska but have been known to occur further south in California as a vagrant.


These birds feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates including adult flies, mayflies, beetles, crustacea and molluscs.They often forage along roadsides in winter.


The breeding season is April to July and the nest is placed near fast running streams or rivers on an embankment between stones and roots. In Europe the nests are often made in holes in manmade structures. The clutch consists of 3 to 6 speckled eggs. The usual clutch size is five in Ireland.The Canary Islands population typically have smaller clutches. The incubation period is about two weeks with chicks fledging within a fortnight.

Calls and Songs

They make a sharp chi – cheep call flying up furthter along the road , but after some distance turning back to return to the original location.

Credit: Wikipedia