Yellow Wagtail ( Motacilla flava, family: Motacillidae)

yellow wagtail kruger national park birds The Yellow Wagtail (Latin name Motacilla flava) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 714 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 1092 also a picture of the Yellow Wagtail on page 1073. The Yellow Wagtail belongs to the family of birds classified as Motacillidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Yellow Wagtail is also known by these other names: Dark-headed Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed Yellow Wagtail, Blue-headed Yellow Wagtail.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Yellow 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 Yellow Wagtail is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Yellow Wagtail in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Yellow Wagtail has been recorded in only 1 sections of the arbitrary Kruger Park regions I selected.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Yellow Wagtail is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Yellow Wagtail is about 16 cms and its weight is about 22 gms

You will find that the male Yellow Wagtail plumage and colours are different to that of the female Yellow Wagtail

  • Head is yellow.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is grey.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is yellow.
  • Legs are yellow.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

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




Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

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

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

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Yellow Wagtail are: wetlands

You will normally see the Yellow Wagtail in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Geelkwikkie

German ... Schafstelze

Portuguese ... Alvola-amarela

French ... Bergeronnette printanire

Dutch ... Russische Gele 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 ... 714

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 ,