Forest Wagtail

The Forest Wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus) is a medium-sized passerine bird in the wagtail family Motacillidae. It has a distinctive plumage that sets it apart from other wagtails and has the habit of wagging its tail sideways unlike the usual up and down movements of the other wagtail species. It is the only wagtail species that nests in trees. They are found mainly in forested habitats, breeding in the temperate parts of East Asia and wintering across tropical Asia from India to Indonesia.

This is a distinctive wagtail, the only one placed in the genus Dendronanthus (all other wagtails are placed in Motacilla). The Forest Wagtail is 18 cm in length, a slender bird with a long tail. The back and crown are olive brown, and the wings are black with two yellow wing bars and white tertial edges. There is a white super cilium, above a dark stripe through the eye. The under parts are white, apart from a black double breast band. The upper breast band is bib-like while the lower band is often broken. Sexes are similar. Young birds are more yellowish on the underside.

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