(1165) Motacilla alba alba.
The White Wag-tail.
Motacilla alba Linu., Syst. Nat., 10th ed. , p.185 (1758) (Sweden); Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 287 (part).
Vernacular names. Dhobini (Hind.).
Description. Differs from the next race, which is the common form in India, in having a decidedly darker upper plumage.
Colours of soft parts and Measurements as in the next bird.
Distribution. The greater part of Europe, wintering in Africa. Judging from the series in the British Museum, this is a very rare straggler into North-West India, though there are individuals from the North-West Provinces and the Punjab referable to this race. Of seven specimens collected by Whistler in Jhelum, Ticehurst identifies five as being true alba.
Nidification. The White Wagtail breeds from the end of April to early July, often rearing two broods in the season. The nest varies considerably according to site; when placed in a small hole in a wall, building or tree it often consists merely of a plentiful lining of fine grass, feathers,, fur., wool or other soft material but when placed in a bank, sandhill or large hole of a tree or in ivy, gorse or a thick bush, it is a bulky affair of sticks, moss roots, leaves and grass lined with the softer materials already mentioned. The eggs number four to six and are white with numerous small freckles and small spots of reddish-brown. As a rule these markings are numerous everywhere but sometimes are more so in a ring or cap at the larger end. One hundred eggs (Rey & Jourdain) average 20.43 x 15.11 mm.: maxima 22.1 x 15.0 and 20.0 x 16.2 mm.; minima 18.0 X 15.0 and 21.0 x 14.4 mm.
Habits similar to those of the next bird.