298. Motacilla alba

298. WHITE WAGTAIL.
MOTACILLA ALBA.
Motacilla alba, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 331 (1766) ; Naum. iii. p. 803, Taf. 86, figs. 1-3 ; Hewitson, i. p. 165, pl. xli, figs. 3,4 ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 2 ; Newton, i. p. 548 ; Dresser, iii. p. 233, pls. 125, 126 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. x. p. 464 ; Saunders, p. 123 ; Lilford, iii. p. 106 pl. 53 ; M. dukhunensis, Sykes, P.Z.S. 1832, p. 91.
Lavandiere, French ; Pispita, Span. ; Ballerina, Ital. ; Mizizi, Moor. ; Weisse Bachstclze, Germ. ; Witte Kwikstaart, Dutch ; Hvid Vipstjert, Dan. ; Linerle, Norweg. ; Sadesarla, Swed. ; Pestur, Lapp. ; Veastarakki, Finn. ; Bieloe, Tresogushka, Russ. ; Marin-Erla, Icel.
Male ad. (Germany). Forehead to the middle of the crown, sides of head and neck, and underparts from the breast white ; hind crown and neck, chin, throat, and upper breast jet black ; upper parts, scapulars, and lesser wing-coverts clear grey ; wings black margined with white ; two outer tail-feathers nearly white, the rest black. Bill and legs black ; iris brown. Culmen 0.55, wing 3.55, tail 3.65, tarsus 0.9 inch. The female is rather greyer than the male and in winter dress the black on the breast is reduced to a crescentic patch. This species differs from M. lugubris in having the back clear grey, not black in summer, and much paler grey in winter, and in immature dress the upper parts are much greyer.
Hab. Europe generally, as far north as Iceland ; N. Asia, wintering in the plains of India as far south as Belgaum, and in Burma as Moulmein ; and also in Northern Africa as far south as Senegambia.
In general habits it does not differ from M. lugubris, and its nest and eggs closely resemble those of that species, with which, indeed, it is said to interbreed. It is a regular migrant to Great Britain, but M. lugubris is the common British species, and not M. alba.

BookTitle: 
A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Reference: 
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 1. 1902.
Title in Book: 
298. Motacilla alba
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
CatNo: 
298
Year: 
1902
Page No: 
200
Common name: 
White Wagtail
M_ID: 
30329
M_CN: 
White Wagtail
M_SN: 
Motacilla alba
Volume: 
Vol. 1
Term name: 
id: 
11082

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