This slim wagtail has a narrow white supercilium and a broken eye ring. The upperparts are grey and the yellow vent contrasting with whitish underparts makes it distinctive. The breeding male has a black throat that is edged by whitish moustachial stripes. The species looks similar to the Yellow Wagtail but has the yellow on its underside restricted to the throat and vent.
Habitat and Distribution
The bird is widely distributed across the Palearctic region. The nominate form is from western Europe(British Isles, Scandinavia and Mediterranean region). The Race melanope breeds in eastern Europe and central Asia mainly along the mountain chains of the Urals, Tien Shan and along the Himalayas. They winter in Africa and Asia. Race robusta breeds along the northeastern parts of Asia in Siberia extending to Korea and Japan. These winter in Southeast Asia. Wintering birds inhabit small urban gardens, each year.
These birds feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates including adult flies, mayflies, beetles, crustacea and molluscs. They forage singly or in pairs on meadows or on shallow water marshes.
The breeding season is April to July and the nest is placed near fast running streams or rivers on an embankment between stones and roots. In Europe the nests are often made in holes in manmade structures. The clutch consists of 3-6 speckled eggs and multiple broods may be raised.
Calls and Songs
They have a clear sharp call note and the song consists of trills.