Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

The bird is so cute: Motacilla grandis



There are various birds in Kochi. Motacilla grandis represents in Kochi-city. The Japanese name for this bird is “seguro-sekirei”. It means black back wagtail. The birds are so small and cute. They have two colors; black and white. You can see them near water. The common English name for this species is Japanese Wagtail. They are indigenous to Japan. They live in north of Kyushu.

Description & Taxonomy

The size is 18-21cm. They live near water. Their color is that the beak, legs, back, neck and chest are black, and the abdomen is white. In addition, the head has two color; black and white. Young of them is colored grey. Male and female have same color.

Japanese Wagtail has some family member. One of them is White Wagtail. The two are so similar in the point of size, habitat and moving mode. However, they are different from color of cheek. Japanese Wagtail’s is black and that of White Wagtail is white.

Range & Ecology

The birds live in from Kyushu to Hokkaido. They live in only Japan. They run so quickly. Their breeding season is from middle of March to June. They usually lay 4-6 eggs in one season. They eat insects, spiders and even small fishes at the waterside.

Use & Conservation

It is important for them to keep the shores of the middle of a river. Human must consider that their nests are not destroyed by human acts, including construction and cutting glass.


You can see them around rivers in Kochi. They prefer a clean environment and live in the middle of a river. You can see them easily at Kagamigawa River. Your eyes can get a scene that they are running cutely.

–by T. Aratake