What does a Pied Wagtail look like

by Victor
What does a Pied Wagtail look like

The Pied Wagtail is a small passerine bird, which belongs to the family Motacillidae. It is a common and widely distributed species found throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Pied Wagtail is a distinctive and attractive bird with a characteristic wagging tail, hence its name. In this article, we will describe the physical appearance of the Pied Wagtail in detail.


The Pied Wagtail is a small bird, measuring about 15 cm (6 inches) in length, and weighs around 18-23 g (0.63-0.81 oz). The bird has a slim and slender build, with a long tail that is almost half its body length. Its wingspan ranges from 23-30 cm (9-12 inches).

The Pied Wagtail has a distinctive black and white plumage. The upperparts of its body are black, including the head, back, wings, and tail. The underparts are white, including the throat, breast, and belly. The black on the head extends down to the upper breast, forming a bib-like shape. The Pied Wagtail has a prominent white eyebrow, which runs from the base of the bill to the back of the head.

The bill of the Pied Wagtail is thin, pointed, and black in color. Its eyes are dark brown, and its legs are long and thin, with a black coloration. The male and female Pied Wagtails look similar, but the males may have slightly longer tails.


The Pied Wagtail is an active and restless bird that is constantly on the move. It is a ground-dwelling bird that prefers open areas such as parks, gardens, and farmland. The bird is often seen foraging for insects and other small invertebrates on the ground, and it frequently wags its tail up and down while moving.

During the breeding season, which typically occurs between April and July, the Pied Wagtail builds its nest in crevices, holes, or gaps in walls, buildings, or trees. The nest is constructed from grass, leaves, and moss, and lined with feathers and hair.

In conclusion, the Pied Wagtail is a small and distinctive bird with a black and white plumage, a long tail, and a prominent white eyebrow. It is an active and restless ground-dwelling bird that feeds on insects and small invertebrates. Its behavior and physical appearance make it an attractive species for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

Recommended reading: What is the difference between Pied Wagtails and White Wagtails

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