Yellow Wagtail ID and Richard Baxter's Images

To: <>
Subject: Yellow Wagtail ID and Richard Baxter's Images
From: Simon Mustoe <>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 02:10:46 +0000

I've put together an article on "Yellow" Wagtails for Bird-O. This includes 
Richard's images as well as images by Trevor Collins from a sighting I had with 
Darryel Binns in Darwin in early 2008.

Despite what people may say, it may yet be possible to tell the difference 
between the two 'dark-headed' types (macronyx and thunbergi). Macronyx may in 
fact be a completely new species but no-one has done the work yet, so the bird 
is in taxonomic limbo. There are surely other difficult birding conundrums that 
have been solved? Maybe we can actually tell these two apart, rather than just 
assume that it is impossible.

One way or the other, we won't know unless we take a good look at birds we are 

This article is only brief and aimed at getting people to a basic understanding 
of Yellow Wagtail identification, because there are TWO species currently 
recognised for Australia. Thunbergi would be a third species (flava) and 
macronyx may be another, meaning next time you see a "Yellow" wagtail, it might 
be one of potentially FOUR species. Taking a close look, recording the birds in 
great details and trying to identify them could be really valuable.



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