• White Wagtail (Non-breeding plumage)
    White Wagtail (Non-breeding plumage) (Mike Pope)
  • White Wagtail (Non-breeding)
    White Wagtail (Non-breeding) (Mike Pope)
White Wagtail (Non-breeding plumage)
White Wagtail (Non-breeding)
Scientific Name 
Motacilla alba
Arabic Name 
Kuwaiti name 
18.0 cm
Least Concern


Abundant passage migrant and winter visitor. The commonest winter Wagtail in Kuwait. Will often gather in large numbers on agricultural lands but also along the coast; up to 1000 recorded on passage in early March 1986. In autumn, they normally arrive as the last of the Yellow Wagtails are leaving.
Where in Kuwait 
It is instantly recognisable thanks to its distinctive black and white plumage. It prefers habitats close to water, such as river banks. However it can also be seen in farmland, parks and gardens, as well as around sewage outfalls, and on grass verges along Gulf Road. It is one of the more common and recognisable winter species in Kuwait.
In the world 
It has an extremely large range and in Europe, trends since 1980 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline. It breeds in much of Europe and Asia and parts of north Africa. It is resident in the mildest parts of its range, but otherwise migrates to Africa. Nine or eleven subspecies are currently recognised. Some phylogenetic studies using mtDNA still suggest that there is considerable gene flow within the races and the resulting closeness makes Motacilla alba a single species. However, some studies have suggested the existence of only two groups : the alboides group and the alba group.
Local threats 
Indiscriminate shooting, trapping and loss of habitat.