Cape Wagtail ( Motacilla capensis, family: Motacillidae)

cape wagtail kruger national park birds The Cape Wagtail (Latin name Motacilla capensis) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 713 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 1091 also a picture of the Cape Wagtail on page 1073. The Cape Wagtail belongs to the family of birds classified as Motacillidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Cape Wagtail is also known by these other names: Angola Wagtail, Well's Wagtail.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Cape Wagtail was called the

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Cape Wagtail is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Cape Wagtail in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Cape Wagtail : see above distribution map.

The Cape Wagtail.

Kruger Park Cape WagtailIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

The Cape Wagtail is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Cape Wagtail is about 20 cms and its weight is about 20 gms

The male and female Cape Wagtail have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is olive.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are brown.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Cape Wagtail feeds on the ground, on the wing and in foliage mainly



Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Cape Wagtail is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Motacilla capensis will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Cape Wagtail is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays eggs which are grey in colour and number between 1 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Cape Wagtail are: woodlands and grasslands . The Cape Wagtail is also at home in wetland and riverine areas.

You can expect to see Cape Wagtail in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Umcelu/Umvemve/Umventshana

Zulu ... umVemve

Afrikaans ...Gewone Kwikkie

German ... Kapstelze

Portuguese ... Alvola do Cabo

French ... Bergeronnette du Cap

Dutch ... Kaapse Kwikstaart

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 713

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,