Female (breeding) at Narenderpur near Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
Breeding Male of calcarata race at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India.
First winter plumage at Joka in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.
The Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) is a small passerine in the wagtail family Motacillidae, which also includes the pipits and longclaws. Its systematics and phylogeny have been subject of a major debate in the last 4 years or so; this bird is paraphyletic in respect to the Blue-headed Wagtail and together they form a cryptic species complex (Voelker, 2002).
It is a slender, 15.5-17 cm long bird, with the characteristic long, constantly wagging tail of its genus. The breeding adult male is basically grey above and bright yellow below, with a yellow head. In other plumages, the yellow underparts may be diluted by white, and the head is browner.
This species breeds in north central Asia in wet meadows and tundra. It nests on the ground, laying 4-5 speckled eggs. It migrates in winter to south Asia, often to highland area. Its range is expanding westwards, and it is a rare but increasing vagrant to western Europe.
This is an insectivorous bird of open country near water, such as wet meadows and bogs.