(1179) Motacilla feldegg feldegg.
The Black-headed Wagtail.
Motacilla feldegg Michahelles, Isis, 1830, p. 812 (Dalmatia). Motacilla feldeggi. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 297.
Vernacular names. None recorded.
Description. Differs from all the other Yellow Wagtails, except melanogriseus, in having the whole crown, lores, ear-coverts and bind neck quite black and in having no supercilium; the under surface including the chin is yellow.
Colours of soft parts. Iris brown ; bill homy-brown; legs and feet dark brown.
Measurements. Wing 81 to 86 mm.: tail 70 to 73mm.; tarsus 24 to 25 mm.; culmen 12 to 14 mm.
The Young are dark grey-brown above with very dark ear-coverts and no trace of a supercilium ; below they are white, more or less washed with yellow and sometimes buff on the breast.
Distribution. Breeds in Southern Europe from Greece Eastwards, Asia Minor and Caucasus, migrating South in Winter to North Africa and India as far South as Belgaum and as far East as Benares.
Nidification. Much the same as in the Wagtails of the flava group. The breeding-season is from April to June and the nests are placed on the ground in meadow- or marsh-land under the projection of a bush or tuft of long grass. In Bulgaria they are said to nest in cornfields. The eggs in appearance are similar to those of M. flava but are more often marked with a streak or hairline at the larger end. Eighteen eggs (Jourdain) average 18.7 X 14.4 mm.: maxima 20.5 x 14.8 mm. and 19.3 X 15.1 mm.; minima 17.1 x 14.0 mm.
Habits. Similar to those of the Yellow Wagtails.