Pied Wagtail Facts
Pied wagtails get their name from their constantly moving tails. Experts are not completely sure of the reason for this continual movement. They are often seen darting across lawns and grass looking for insects. They often roost in reed beds, but also places like hospitals, sewage works and factory rooftops. Their black and white ("pied") feathers make them easy to spot in urban areas, but more difficult to see in natural settings like flowing rivers.
Pied Wagtail Stories
A Japanese creation story tells how the creator god sent down a water wagtail to make habitable land in the otherwise watery world below. The bird packed bits of earth together by stamping its feet, and by bashing the earth with its tail. So it was believed by the Ainu that their islands were raised up from the ocean by the wagtail.
Listen to a wagtail here: