834. Motacilla flava

834. Motacilla flava.

The Blue-headed Wagtail.

Motacilla flava, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 331 (1766) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. x, p. 516, pl. vi, figs. 3-5. Budytes flava (Linn.), Hume, Cat. no. 593 ter (part.); Oates, B. B. i, p. 162. Budytes beema (Sykes), Hume, S. F. x, p. 227 note.

Coloration. Resembles M. borealis very closely in general appearance at all seasons and with regard to both sexes, but may be recognized :—the male by having the crown darker slaty blue, the ear-coverts streaked with white, the chin and a moustachial streak bordering the nearly black cheeks white, and by the presence of a large and pure white supercilium extending from the nostril to the nape :—the female by the darker green of the upper plumage, the presence of white streaks on the ear-coverts, and the large distinct white or pale fulvous supercilium.

The dimensions and the colour of the soft parts are the same as those of M. borealis.

An allied species, M. taivana, Swinhoe, from China and the Malay peninsula, is extremely likely to be found in Burma. In this species the crown is green, concolorous with the back, and the supercilium, which is very broad and distinct, is bright yellow. A specimen of a "Wagtail in the Hume Collection killed at Howrah, Calcutta, would appear to belong to this species, but unless supported by other specimens it would be premature to pronounce it such.

Distribution. Occurs in winter in the eastern portion of the Empire. I have examined unmistakable specimens of this species procured at various localities ranging from Shillong on the Khasi hills to the extreme south of Tenasserim. I have also seen it from the Andamans and Nicobars. Hume (S. E. xi, p. 232) gives this species from Cachar and Dibrugarh in Assam. This Wagtail in winter is found in China and the countries to the south and in summer in Siberia. A precisely similar bird is found in Europe and Africa, but it is probable that the two colonies meet on com¬mon ground in Northern Asia in summer and take two different routes in the autumn when preceding to their winter-quarters.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
834. Motacilla flava
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Blue Headed Wagtail
Western Yellow Wagtail
Motacilla flava
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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