Pied Wagtail

Motacilla alba

This species is instantly recognisable, with its black and white plumage and its long tail that always seems to be on the move. Pied Wagtails use a wide range of habitats and are even found nesting in the middle of our largest city centres. Outside the breeding season, Pied Wagtails gather to roost in reed beds, greenhouses or in bushes and trees in supermarket car-parks and petrol-stations. Presumably, they feel more secure when sleeping with the lights on.

Nest boxes are best sited where water and grass lawns are near-by. They use a wide variety of nest sites, from drainpipes to farm machinery.

For more information about Pied Wagtails, see the BTO’s BirdFacts and Wider Countryside Report.

  • Open-fronted nest box
  • Nest height: Up to 5m above ground
  • The Nest is made of twigs, roots and moss
  • Egg laying starts between mid April and mid August. 2 or 3 broods
  • 5 to 6 eggs. Greyish with brown speckles
  • Incubation time: 13 days
  • Nestlings fledge after 14-15 days