Willie Wagtail - Willy Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys

Willie Wagtail

Rhipidura leucophrys

Other Names: Willy Wagtail
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

Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton - Willie Wagtail - Willy Wagtail - Rhipidura leucophrys NEW: Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton.

Revised edition 3 July 2019. Paperback / softback, 176 pages. It has an orange cover. The original edition was 2005 and has a blue cover. Some of the book sellers listed here show the photo from the original/older blue cover edition, but the rest of the info (including the publication date and ISBN) are from the newer revised 2019 edition, so presumably that's the one you'll get.

This book has very high quality large photographs of the birds (as in actual photographs). Most of the photos take up a whole page for each bird photograph. "Know Your Birds" only has a selection of the most common birds, and not all the birds that are found in Australia. This makes it very good for beginners — since most of the field guides have all the birds — and it can be confusing looking at six almost identical species of birds, not knowing that five of them are rare and it's probably the common one that you're looking for. Which would be the only one listed in this book.

Purchase from Australia (Booktopia)

Purchase from Australia (Angus & Robertson)

Purchase from Australia (The Nile)

Purchase from Australia (Fishpond)

See Also

Australian Bird Field Guides

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