White Wagtail

Motacilla alba

A rare, spring vagrant to the Pribilofs with a dozen or so records that span the entire season although the best time to look for this species is from May 15th-25th. The latest spring record also constitutes the lone summer record and the only confirmed breeding record in the Pribilofs. The pair (which may have been a mixed White and Black-backed Wagtail pairing) was present into August when three fledglings were seen with the parents. The only true fall records for this species are from early September, which falls in line with this species’ normal migration timing in western Alaska and a few October records, which are likely vagrants from Asia as opposed to Alaska.

The subspecies lugens which accounts for some records was once considered its own species, Black-backed Wagtail, though it has been lumped with ocularis as the White Wagtail since the 2000s.

Photo by Jim de Waal Malefyt
Photo by Dave Krueper
Photo by Doug Gochfeld
Photo by Kristina McOmber