White wagtail

White wagtail, Photo: Syed Abbas


সাদা খঞ্জন

Motacilla alba (Linnaeus, 1758)


রাজ্য / Kingdom: Animalia
বর্গ / Order: Passeriformes
পরিবার / Family: Motacillidae
গন / Genus: Motacilla
প্রজাতি / Species: M. alba

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Description

This bird is 16.5-19 cm in length, long tail included. It weighs around 20-24.5 gm in case of male and female weighs around 17.5-20 gm. It has grey upperpart and white under parts with a black cap. In non-breeding or winter season black bib is reduced. Its chin and throat is white like the under parts. Sexes are alike. Juveniles have brownish grey head and dusky molar stripes. Under parts is greyish white with buff tinge. 

Food habit: It runs swiftly wagging its tail up and down incessantly while catching tiny insects on ploughed lands, golf links, maidens and lawns. It roosts at night in large mixed gathering with other wagtails and swallows in reed beds, sugarcane fields, leafy trees. 

Call: It has a loud, distinctive, thick “tsee tsee” call.

Nesting and breeding habit: Breeding season ranges from April – August. Their nest is a pad of rootlets, moss, hair etc. placed in a hole in ruined wall, buildings, pile of stones. 

Eggs are 4-6 in number, white, freckled and spotted with reddish brown. Incubation period is about 12-15 days long and shared by the parents. 

Habitat: It is a common winter visitor arriving about September / October and departing about March / April. 

Distribution: In winter they are seen in greater parts of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and occasionally in Srilanka.

Reference:

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