Japanese wagtail

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Japanese wagtail
Motacilla grandis -Japan-8.jpg
In Japan

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)[1]
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Motacilla
M. grandis
Binomial name
Motacilla grandis
Sharpe, 1885

The Japanese wagtail (Motacilla grandis) is a species of bird in the pipit and wagtail family Motacillidae. It is native to Japan and Korea.


The Japanese wagtail is about 20 cm long. The sexes look similar; they have white underparts and black upperparts, throats, and backs. Their supercilia are also white. They have black beaks and dark grey legs and feet. The plumage of a juvenile is greyer than that of an adult.[2]

Taxonomy and systematics[]

The bird's Latin species name, grandis, means large.[2]


The Japanese wagtail is classed as a species of least concern by the IUCN. It has a stable population.[1]



The Japanese wagtail eats insects.[2]


Large groups of Japanese wagtails roost together in trees.[2]


Nests are built in cavities near water. The parents both look after the eggs and chicks. Four to six eggs are laid in each clutch.[2]


It is native to Japan and Korea. Vagrant birds have been recorded in Taiwan, eastern China and far-eastern Russia. It lives in inland wetlands, on arable land and in urban areas.[1]


  1. ^ a b c BirdLife International (2018). "Motacilla grandis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22718360A132117451. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22718360A132117451.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Japanese Wagtail". Birds of the World. Archived from the original on 2020-01-02.
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