Blue-headed Wagtail (Female or immature)
Blue-headed Wagtail (Male)
Scientific Name 
Motacilla flava flava
Arabic Name 
راعية الخيل زرقاء الرأس
Kuwaiti name 
16.5 cm
Least Concern


Very common passage migrant; scarce summer visitor. The “Yellow Wagtail” species complex has many distinct races, most being distinguished by the male’s breeding plumaged head colourings. Females are all similar; hybrids among the races occur. Identification to subspecies level may be impossible for females and juvenile birds.
Where in Kuwait 
On passage these species can be found in most locations throughout Kuwait, from grass verges along Gulf Road, the cultivated and farmland areas, inland pools and coastal zones.
In the world 
Yellow Wagtail has been split into 2 species: Western Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla flava and Eastern Yellow Wagtail, Motacilla tschutschensis. It has an extremely large range and in Europe, trends since 1980 show that populations have undergone a moderate decline. Western Yellow Wagtail breeds in much of temperate Europe and Asia. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, such as western Europe, but northern and eastern populations migrate to Africa and south Asia. This species' systematics and phylogeny is extremely confusing. Literally dozens of subspecies have been described at one time or another, and some 15-20 are currently considered valid depending on which author reviews them.
Local threats 
Indiscriminate shooting, trapping and habitat loss.