Spanish Wagtail: iberiae

What they look like…

Trevor Charlton has taken these images in Morocco and Western Sahara in recent years. Most look like straight iberiae – ‘Spanish Wagtail‘. They give a good idea of the appearance and some of the variety to be found. The Filey bird looks very similar. Trevor describes the call as “To my ears, the call is rasping, often loud, sometimes uttered aggressively and repeatedly.

Have a look at these lovely images:

spanish 1 (1 of 1) spanish 3 (1 of 1) spanish 4 (1 of 1) spanish 5 (1 of 1) spanish 6 (1 of 1)

Here’s the Filey bird again:

spanish 8 (1 of 1) spanish 9 (1 of 1)

This next one taken in NW Africa by trevor is a little paler headed, at least in the photo:spanish 7 (1 of 1)


and this next one may be a cinereocapilla– Ashy-headed Wagtail.spanish 2 (1 of 1)

6 thoughts on “Spanish Wagtail: iberiae

  1. Jan Jörgensen

    Hi Martin, all.
    Perhaps Jochen is correct regarding the first bird? However, variation is to be considered and also judging colour tones from photos. The Filey bird looks like a fairly “standard” iberiae (Spanish) to me, even better with the discribed call.
    There´s loads of photos on the net of iberia and cinereocapilla (Ashy-headed). and many of these looks like what they are said to be, so to speak. A minefield is what we are upp against, which you all of course would now by now.
    Here´s a link with some iberiae and cineriocapilla (and much more Motacilla)



  2. linosabirding

    the problem is a different one !! IS really cinereocapilla different from iberiae? I think nowadays I believe they are same taxon with two extreme ends from West to East (I call them A to B types) and among their breeding range in Iberian to italian areas all sorts of in between variations…. So that we get breeding here in Italy birds exaclty alike iberiae and I have seen in Spain and Morocco breeding birds exaclty looking like cinereocapilla !!
    So, I would even bother to call them intermediate or any of the two taxa, but I would call them only iberiae/cinereocapilla all the time, waiting the future when i could finally write down all my notes and all my data about the 75% rules on susbecies and that they are actually same taxon almost or at òeast that they are in many cases impossible to ID properly and with 100% of confidence

  3. Grahame Walbridge

    The Dutch (CDNA/CSNA) lump cinereocapilla, pygmaea and iberiae to form ‘White-throated’ Wagtail Motacilla cinereocapilla. One might say, a pretty convenient split.


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