Monday, 18 March 2013

White Wagtail - National Bird of Latvia

The White Wagtail is a small bird found throughout Europe and Asia, as well as part of north Africa. Most populations are permanent residents, but northern birds will migrate to Africa in winter months. The preferred habitat of this bird includes open country near bodies of water. It has adapted to foraging for food in urban areas as well. 

Interesting & Amazing Facts About White Wagtail are:
  1.  It has distinctive black and white plumage, loud tsli-vitt call, and characteristic habit of constantly bobbing the tail, hence the common name ‘wagtail’.
  2. This is also known as pied wagtail.
  3. Nests are made in crevices of stone walls, both manmade and natural.
  4. The White Wagtail is an insectivorous bird of open country, often near habitation and water.
  5. The White Wagtail is the national bird of Latvia.
  6. Call of this bird is "chuchun-chuchun".
  7. This bird tends to prefer habitats close to water, such as river banks and lake edges. However it can also be seen in farmland, moorland, parks and gardens, as well as around sewage farms, reservoirs and in towns.
  8. The White Wagtail was originally described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work, Systema Naturae, and it still bears its original name of Motacilla alba.
  9. The Latin genus name originally meant "little mover", but certain medieval writers though it meant "wag-tail", giving rise to a new Latin word, cilla, for "tail". The species name, alba, is Latin for "white".
  10. Willy Wagtail was a colloquial name used on the Isle of Man, replacing the older name of ushag vreck.
  11. A group of wagtails are collectively known as a "flock" of wagtails.

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