Willy Wagtail

on the roof

on the roof

This dear little bird is known as a Willie Wagtail, for its manner of waving its fan tail from side to side as it calls and forages on the ground. It is a true fantail, with striking black and white plumage and endearing curiosity. On a cool day recently this bird found a warm spot beside the pumpkins drying on a sunny north-facing deck, and lay down stretching out its wings, first one and then the other. I could see that it was sunbaking, absorbing warmth with its dark feathers … but I wonder if it was also discouraging pests.

sunning on the deck

sunning on the deck

Here as another photo with the bird on fence …. pretty isn’t it? Our Wagtails are insect eaters, dashing around in the air with great agility, snapping up tasty morsels. Definitely to be encouraged!

wagtail on a fence

wagtail on a fence

Although the Willie Wagtail has a loud scolding ‘chit chit chit chit chit’ alarm call (like a child’s rattle), it also has a pleasant song that sounds like “sweet pretty little creature”. We love to see them around here, although they prefer farmland to bushland, so they are not frequent visitors.

17 thoughts on “Willy Wagtail

    • i am sure ours was named after yours by our early settlers … it is really a fantail not a wagtail but when people get a name they like they will not give it up!

  1. Very pretty bird. I just had to have a look at a couple of videos of a Willy Wagtail as I’d never heard of it before. It does have a very sweet song.

    When it sunbathes, does it open its beak? Our birds do. Some people think it’s so that they cool down. I think it’s a defensive act as birds often open their beaks to ‘ward off’ other birds from attacking them.

    • very interesting val, i think i did notice it had an open beak some of the time …. so glad you looked up the videos, they move in such a distinctive way 🙂

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