Yellow-headed Wagtail (Motacilla lutea) in the Volga-Kama and Volga Areas. - I.V. Muravyev, E.A. Artemyeva. - Berkut. 21 (1-2). 2012. - P. 102-115.
Yellow-headed Wagtail belongs to the polytypic complex of «yellow» Wagtails Motacilla flava sensu lato. In this paper it is considered as a separate species. Field studies were carried out in 1981–2012. Breeding range of the species in the study area is described. Yellow-headed Wagtail hybridizes with closely related species M. flava and M. feldegg in sympatry zones. Breeding phenology depends on the latitude and weather conditions. Egg laying started since late April till first half of June. Females built nests as a rule during 5–6 days. The certain humidity is impornant for the choice of breeding habitat. Two ecological forms were found that had different preferences in values of this parameter. Full clutches had 4–6 eggs. There are two colour morps of eggs with different measurements. Birds hatched eggs during 14 days. Fledglings left their nests in 12–15 days. Fledged youngs were observed since early June till August. Parents fed nestlings mainly by insects (Diptera – 34.5%, Orthoptera – 20.4%, Homoptera – 15.4%) and spiders. In Penza region, mortality of nests with clutches made 29.2%. The mean brood size was 4.0 ±0.2 (n = 24). [Russian].
Key words: distribution, breeding, habitat, phenology, nest, egg, feeding.
Address: Е.А. Аrtemyeva, Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University of I.N. Ulyanov, dep. of zoology; pl. 100-letia V.I. Lenina, 4, Ulyanovsk, 432700, Russia; e-mail: