Motacilla indica Gmelin, 1798, India (Malabar). OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Tree wagtail; French: Bergeronnette de forêt; German: Baumstelze; Spanish: Lavandera de los Bosques.
6.3-6.9 in (16-17.5 cm); 0.5-0.6 oz (14-17 g). Grayish head and upperparts with white eye stripe; white bands on wing. Whitish throat and underparts with black bib-like collar with black stripes on breast.
Northeast China and southeast Russia south to Korea and southwest Japan; winters in south China, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Indochina through Malay Peninsula to Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the Philippines.
Deciduous and evergreen broadleaf forests, riverine forest, open woodland, and pinewoods; also winters in bamboo, plantations, and parks.
Readily flies to trees when disturbed; sometimes roosts in reeds or mangroves. Sways tail and rear body laterally. Migrates south in August through October; return migration March through May.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Insects (including ants) and spiders. Forages on the ground, usually close to cover.
Monogamous; breeds May through June. Nest is a small, neat cup of small twigs, leaves, grass, rootlets, moss, cobwebs and lichen, on a horizontal tree branch, often near water; female builds. Lays four eggs; incubation 15-16 days, by female.
Not threatened; formerly regarded as locally distributed.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦
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