Mountain Wagtail ( Motacilla clara, family: Motacillidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Long-tailed Wagtail

mountain wagtail kruger national park birds The Mountain Wagtail (Latin name Motacilla clara) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 712 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 1095 also a picture of the Mountain Wagtail on page 1073. The Mountain Wagtail belongs to the family of birds classified as Motacillidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Mountain Wagtail was called the Long-tailed Wagtail

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

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

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

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

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

  • Head is blue, grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is blue, grey.
  • Legs are grey.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Mountain Wagtail feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

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

The nesting habit of Mountain Wagtail is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are grey in colour and number between 1 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Mountain Wagtail are: woodlands and grasslands and riverine areas

You will normally see the Mountain Wagtail in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Umcelu/Umvemve/Umventshana

Zulu ... umVemve

Afrikaans ...Bergkwikkie

German ... Langschwanzstelze

Portuguese ... Alvola-rabilonga

French ... Bergeronnette longue queue

Dutch ... Bergkwikstaart

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 712

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 ,