Willie Wagtail - Willy Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys

Willie Wagtail

Rhipidura leucophrys

Other Names: Willy Wagtail
Family:
Rhipidurinae (Fantails, 5 species in Australia)
Size: 19-22 cm
Distribution: All of Australia except the southernmost 2/3 of TAS
Status: Abundant to Common
Habitat: Everywhere except very wet forests
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest

A well known bird, the Willie Wagtail is well dressed in black and white and tails. It shakes its tail from side to side and sings a song that is meant to sound like it is saying "Sweet pretty creature". Apart from that call it also makes chip chip chip noises when it is alarmed or when it wants you to go away.

Willie Wagtail - Willy Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys
Photo: Wentworth Falls Lake, Blue Mountains NSW

Some Birdwatching Resources


Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Nicolas Day, Ken Simpson, Peter Trusler.This is known to birdwatchers as "Simpson and Day". I like the pictures in this one the best out of all the major field guides. The information is still very highly regarded compared to most of the other guides. Many serious birdwatchers think "Pizzey and Knight" (listed here) is the best though. I bought this one since I liked the pictures so much I figured (correctly) that I would spend more time looking through it. I feel that I made the right choice since I love the pictures in this one so much. I have the 6th edition, the current one is the updated version of the 8th edition, which has a different colour cover to the original 8th edition with a black cover. I'm not sure why they haven't called this the 9th edition.

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase 8th ed. updated from Australia (Dymocks)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. updated version from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to purchase 8th ed. original version from Amazon


The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, Graham Pizzey and Frank Knight. This is the other of the two best bird field guides for Australia. It is the one preferred by many serious birdwatchers. However I find the pictures a bit dull looking for my taste — the birds all kind of look the same to me, making it harder to remember them in my mind. The illustrations are meant to be the most anatomically correct, though. The text descriptions are better than in Simpson and Day. If you want the most serious bird field guide get this one otherwise get Simpson and Day.

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase 9th ed. from Australia (Dymocks)

Click here to purchase 9th ed. from Australia (The Nile)

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

Click here to preorder the 9th ed. from Amazon

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Willie Wagtail - Willy Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys

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