Yellow Wagtail

Motacilla flava

(M. f. feldegg, M. f. beema, M. f. cinereocapilla, M. f. flava, M. f. lutea, M. f. melanogrisea)

Armenian Name: Դեղին խաղտտնիկ
Yellow Wagtail

See Plate 40 for Yellow Wagtail and other similar species

Resident Status: Breeding bird
Abundance: Common
Length:17 cm, Wing Span:23-27 cm
Distribution Map: Map 215.
Description: Highly variable; usually has green back, two narrow off-white wingbars, and yellow undertail coverts.
Adult: Male: yellowish-green to gray-green above with darker wings; yellow underparts. Female: duller overall. Numerous subspecies best identified by head markings of breeding-plumaged males. Birds showing characters of the following races have occurred: M. f. lutea: yellow head. M. f. beema: pale blue-gray head, yellow chin, white supercilium and front part of ear coverts. M. f. flava: like M. f. beema, but with dark gray ear coverts. M. f. feldegg: black crown extending below eye and entirely yellow underparts. M. f. cinereocapilla: dark blue-gray crown, darker gray to black ear coverts, and white chin and throat. M. f. melanogrisea (not depicted): crown and ear coverts gray-black, chin stripe white, throat yellow.
Adult (Non-breeding): After August, both sexes duller with less distinct head markings.
Juvenile: Resembles immature but with yellowish-white undertail coverts and bold malar stripes.
Immature: Resembles non-breeding female with yellowish undertail coverts but has brown-gray or yellow-gray upperparts.
Similar Species: Adults differ from Citrine and Grey Wagtails by combination of greenish back, yellow belly and undertail coverts, narrow off-white wingbars. Immatures differ from Citrine Wagtail by dark lores, pale base of lower mandible, and yellow undertail coverts.
Behavior: Gregarious on migration, and may breed semi-colonially.
Habitat: Damp mountain steppe; on migration in lowland pastures, pond and lake shores.
Food: Small invertebrates.
Nest: Grassy cup in tussock on ground.
Eggs: 19 mm, 4-6, gray-white, brown spots.