Monday, June 15, 2015

Pleasing caller - the White-browed Wagtail!

When I was living in an apartment house, I watched two small birds frequenting the top floor of the next house. They were of large sparrow-size, moving their tails up and down. I had seen such birds sitting on the overhead tanks of buildings; they sing for a few seconds and fly away. But I found these two birds to remain on the house for days together!
Then on one day, I heard chirping sounds from the next house! Their chicks were chirping. The birds had built a nest under the ledge of that house. This bird is the White-browed wagtail (Motacilla maderaspatensis, Large pied wagtail). Though it is not found inside the cities, I have found it often in suburban areas. It has pleasing long calls repeated like, 'sweetch, sweetch' with the slowly falling down volume. It is black with white belly; it has white edges on its wings and white eyebrows.

The female bird is brown grey in colour. They are insectivorous. They breed in the Spring and Summer. They build a cup-shaped nest, and the female lays about three eggs. The hatched out eggs are fed with caterpillars and spiders.
This is a wonder bird that I remember and identify by its call, its wagging tail and its walking style on the ground!

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