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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

21 Amaze-wing Facts About The Willie Wagtail For Kids

Willie wagtail facts includes that they are the most familiar songbird found in Australia which spends much time chasing prey in open habitat.

The willie (or willy) wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is an Australian bird found in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, amongst other places. Willie wagtails have a beautiful voice and usually, wagtails sing at night the male willie wagtails sing to guard their dominion and sometimes to lure their partners at night and also in moments during daylight hours. They prefer almost every kind of habitat other than thick forest. They measure about 19–21.5 cm ( 7.5–8.5 in) in length and their body color is contrasting with almost entirely black or white shades on the opposite sides and look similar to the blue willie wagtail. It is named after its habit of horizontally wagging its tail foraging on the ground.

They are carnivores and mainly prey upon insects found within their habitats. Male wagtails are territorial and have distinctive white eyebrows which help them to attract their mates during the mating period, and they regularly harass much larger birds like laughing kookaburras and wedge-tailed eagles. Pallid cuckoos attempt to lay an egg in their nest but it very well understands when an egg is distinct from their's and soon throws it out of the nest. They are social birds and are friendly with humans and can be found in urban lawns, parks, and gardens. At night, they mostly sleep in trees present around markets or shopping areas which seems indeed their favorite place. They were despised by people in some areas, as they were seen as unlucky creatures. It is also a local inhabitant of Ireland, commonly also called 'willie wagtail Ireland'. You can also find interesting facts about the common buzzard and the mockingbird.

Willie Wagtail Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a willie wagtail?

It is a bird widely found in the Australian mainland.

What class of animal does a willie wagtail belong to?

The willie wagtail belongs to the Aves class.

How many willie wagtails are there in the world?

There are various species of willie wagtails mainly in Australia and also there are three species of willie wagtail UK breed.

Where does a willie wagtail live?

The willie wagtail is found in Australia, also seen in Tasmania, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. They live in the Bismarck Archipelago, the Moluccas, and eastern Indonesia. They move to northeastern New South Wales and southeast Queensland in the autumn and winter.

What is a willie wagtail's habitat?

Willie wagtails favor a wide variety of habitats, but they dislike any habitat having dense forests such as rainforests. Semi-open woodland or grassland with scattered trees are their favorable habitats. They're frequently seen around marshes or small bodies of water. In New Guinea, they can also be seen in the forest clearings and grasslands, as well as mangroves and open forests.

Who do willie wagtails live with?

Willie wagtails are seen usually singly or in pairs, may also congregate in small groups on occasion. It is mainly seen wandering on the ground. The bird is usually seen flying in the sky or roaming the ground and rarely at rest for more than a few moments during daylight hours.

How long does a willie wagtail live?

It lives with a lifespan of about 12-15 years. Being a species of wide range, it has a low probability to be considered as the vulnerable thresholds.

How do they reproduce?

Willie wagtails are committed to their mates for life and usually stay with them until death. Their breeding season is from July to December. Their nest is a finely built cup of grasses, covered on the outside with spider's web and lined on the inside with soft grasses, hair, or fur, and breeding occurs more frequently after rain in drier areas. Their nest is recyclable, they can use it, or they can destroy an old nest and use the resources to build a new one. Both men and females incubate the crème-colored eggs, which are mottled with gray and brown, for 14 days. The female lays around two to four eggs. The parents may continue to aid in the feeding of the young when a fresh litter is born. The young birds stay with their parents until the eggs of the following brood hatch. They are then pursued and chased away. The couple may produce up to four successive broods in a single breeding season if conditions are good.

What is their conservation status?

Willie wagtails are common and prolific across their range and they are not currently threatened. Currently, this species is categorized as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN and its numbers are increasing day by day.

Willie Wagtail Fun Facts

What do willie wagtails look like?

Their physical description includes the plumage with a white belly on top of it. The black throat and the white eyebrows and whiskers of other similar dimensions may be identified from black and white birds. The name wagtail derives from the continuous wagging of the tail on the side. Young birds are adult-like, however, the feathers of the wings are lighter and slightly rough.

Willie wagtail is fondly called 'Jitta Jitta', a gossip-monger and bringer of bad news in many places.

How cute are they?

The unique shades of their body, their adorable wagging tail, and friendly nature make them cute.

How do they communicate?

The 'beautiful pretty creature' song of the willie wagtail, Rhipidura leucophrys, is a charming series of squeaky whistled notes. They also have a harsh raspy sound known as willie wagtail call, often when alarmed. It sings at night, particularly during the breeding season and on full moon nights.

How big is a willie wagtail?

An adult willie wagtail is having a length of 7.5-8.5 in(19-21.5 cm ) and weighs 0.6–0.85 oz (17–24 g), with a tail approximately 4 in (10–11 cm) in length. It's about half the size of a kookaburra.

How fast can a willie wagtail move?

It typically stays on the ground, but during flight, it beats its wings strongly, spreads its wings for flying faster, even while perching, wagging its tail from side to side, and seeks prey.

How much does a willie wagtail weigh?

An adult willie wagtail weighs about 0.6–0.85 oz (17–24 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The males and females of willie wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) appear similar with no noticeable difference in size. The unique white eyebrows of the male, help him attract a mate. Although behavioral differences exist like males by expanding their eyebrows during a territorial dispute or hiding their eyebrow completely to show aggression or submission.

What would you call a baby willie wagtail?

A baby willie wagtail is known as a chick. The baby willie wagtails are given parental care until the new eggs hatch.

What do they eat?

Willie wagtails are carnivores. They feed on various insects, including purple emperor butterflies, flatworms, mayflies, giant water bugs. They wag their tail while hunting in the ground and also chase insects in the air.

Are they dangerous?

They are friendly in nature and are social birds even in wild habitats. The males are aggressive and fight for their territories especially in winter if there is a scarcity of food.

Would they make a good pet?

The willie wagtail attackz other animals and humans that go too close to its nest because it is highly protective of its eggs. Other than that it is highly relaxed and domesticated with humans, frequently eating and breeding on human territory.

Did you know...

Willie wagtails are monogamous, and both parents contribute to their offspring's upbringing. It will defend its territory from other birds since it is protective of its eggs.

Why does a willie wagtail wag its tail?

Tail-wagging assists a bird in capturing its bug food by flushing it out and is used to convey social status as well as an individual's level of vigilance to possible predators nearby. However, because tail-wagging is coupled with other behaviors such as preening, it seems doubtful that it is merely a method of flushing prey from cover.

What does it mean when a willie wagtail follows you?

These birds are generally known as the willie wagtail messenger of good luck, and they remind us to be happy. This teaches us to maintain our positive energy in the face of trouble, which in turn makes our lives happier. It serves as a reminder to cling to hope. While this is a beautiful interpretation of the bird, there is no factual evidence to prove this.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these kestrel interesting facts and birds of paradise facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable willie wagtail coloring pages.

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