Willie Wagtail

Images ©:

Willie Wagtail - The State of Victoria, Department of Environment and Primary Industries/McCann | Willie Wagtail - Bob Winters

Rhipidura leucophrys


The largest Australian fantail (19-22 cm). Black plumage above and white underneath. Long, black tail.


Details
Type
Bird
Group
Animals
Fantail
Biology

If conditions are favorable will breed throughout the year, but generally between August and December. The nest is a small cup of grass bound with spider's web placed on a horizontal branch 1-15 m high. Clutch size is between 2 and 4 and when seasons are favorable up to 4 clutches are raised. Eggs are incubated for 14-15 days by both parents. Young stay until the next clutch hatches and are then driven away. The nest is defended aggressively.

Distinctive Markings

Black throat, white eyebrows and whisker marks.

Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Family
Rhipiduridae
Genus
Rhipidura
Species
leucophrys

Found throughout mainland Australia. Absent from Tasmania. Also found in New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Bismarck Archipelago and the Moluccas.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

The name wagtail originates from the sideways wagging of the tail.


Interesting Facts
Diet

Carnivore. Insects from the ground and the air.

Habitat

Prefers open country and farms. Avoids dense forest.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Audio
Sounds
Attack or defence is a harsh, loud, metallic ratchetting chatter. Sings in a pleasant musical chatter "whichity - whiet, whitch - i wheit whitchit".