Birda Logo
loading...
A photo of a Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)
Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail

Rhipidura leucophrys

The Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a sprightly black and white bird, a familiar sight across much of its range. It measures 19–21.5 cm in length, with males and females donning similar plumage. The upperparts are almost entirely black, while the underparts are a stark white, creating a striking contrast. This bird is a member of the fantail genus Rhipidura and is part of the "core corvine" group, which includes crows, ravens, and birds of paradise.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Willie Wagtail, look for its distinctive black upperparts and white underparts, including a white eyebrow and "whiskers." The tail is long and the legs are longer than those of other fantails, possibly an adaptation for foraging on the ground. Juveniles may have brown-tinged upperparts and pale brown scallops on the head and breast.

Habitat

The Willie Wagtail is adaptable, inhabiting a wide variety of habitats but avoiding dense forests. It prefers semi-open woodlands or grasslands with scattered trees, often near water bodies.

Distribution

This bird is native to Australia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Bismarck Archipelago, and Eastern Indonesia. It is sedentary in most of its Australian range but may show seasonal movements in some areas.

Behaviour

The Willie Wagtail is known for its ceaseless activity, rarely staying still during daylight hours. It is territorial and unafraid to harass much larger birds. It is often seen hunting in open areas like lawns, parks, and gardens.

Song & Calls

The Willie Wagtail has a variety of vocalisations, including a rapid "chit-chit-chit-chit" alarm call. It also produces more melodious sounds, with some likening its call to a child's rattle or the sweet phrase "pretty little creature."

Breeding

Willie Wagtails usually mate for life, with the breeding season extending from July to December. They build cup-like nests on tree branches or man-made structures, laying two to four cream-white eggs with brownish markings. Both parents are involved in raising the young.

Similar Species

While similar in name, the Willie Wagtail is not closely related to the Eurasian wagtails of the family Motacillidae. It is unique within its range for its coloration and behavior.

Diet and Feeding

Insectivorous by nature, the Willie Wagtail feeds on a variety of arthropods, including insects and small invertebrates. It is often seen following larger animals to catch prey disturbed by their movements.

Conservation Status

The Willie Wagtail is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating it is not currently at risk of extinction in the wild.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Willie Wagtails on Birda

Photos
Sightings

More Fantails

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
EandB17
Terrific App for Birders
Downloaded Birda around the time my interest in birding was sparked, and it has been a terrific app to help me (1) share my experience, (2) document my sightings, and (3) learn more about birds in general. That said, I also believe Birda is a fantastic app for birders of all experience levels. Great community!
Birdafan
Ideal Birdwatch Companion
Simply adds to the enjoyment of my birdwatching and helps me record what I’ve seen.
Hip An
Fantastic
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vidsπŸ¦‰πŸ¦…
Mike T
Sense of Community
A great app, which is continually being improved. What really comes through is the passion of those behind the app. The sense of community is brilliant, so much help and support provided to new and/or in experienced birders.
Unbridled Discoveries
Great app for bird lovers
I love this app! It’s a wonderful way to track birding sessions, and also connect you with fellow birders. I also really like the unidentified bird section, it’s a great community tool to help figure out what a never-before-seen bird is!
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
Nick S
Work together with community
Been loving using this app to log my bird sightings and work together with community members to identify different birds. I've already learned a lot since I started about a month ago!
JCBirding
Just what birding needs
We need more fun in birding, for years it has had a reputation for being up tight and stuffy and only perused by retirees and anoraks. Birda helps change that perception and firmly brings birding into the 21st century! Fun, interactive while still contributing to science and conservation. If you aren’t on it, why not??
Madstherangers
A mordern game changer
Birda is an awesome app, its updated the world of birding to the modern day with a fun and easy to use app. It’s engaging and allows positive interaction with fellow bird lovers!
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
Β© 2024 All rights reserved