Cape Wagtail (Motacilla capensis) - HBW 9, p. 784
French: Bergeronnette du Cap
Spanish: Lavandera de El Cabo
Other common names: Angolan Wagtail (simplicissima); Wells’s Wagtail (wellsi)
Taxonomy: Motacilla capensis Linnaeus, 1766, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.
Sometimes thought to form a superspecies with M. flaviventris; both also suggested as comprising a superspecies with M. flava and M. citreola, but such a relationship is not supported by recent molecular-genetic studies. Race simplicissima sometimes treated as a separate species. Proposed races bradfieldi (from W Namibia) and beirensis (S Mozambique) included in nominate. Three subspecies recognized.
Subspecies and Distribution:
- wellsi Ogilvie-Grant, 1911 - E DRCongo E to SW Uganda and NW Tanzania, and W & C Kenya.
- simplicissima Neumann, 1929 - Angola E to SE DRCongo, S to NE Namibia, N Botswana and Zambia, and W Zimbabwe (on R Zambezi).
- capensis Linnaeus, 1766 - W & S Namibia, SE Botswana, much of Zimbabwe and W & S Mozambique S to S South Africa.
- Least Concern Enlarge map
VideosSee all 8 videos
A bird singing once and attacking itself in a car mirror Locality Buhoma, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda (ssp wellsi)
Josep del Hoyo 8 September 2006 6 years ago 35 sec 4.7
Bird hunts for flies on sandy beach Locality Walvis Bay, Erongo Region, Namibia (ssp capensis)
Desmond Allen 9 September 2013 23 weeks ago 30 sec 4.5
Adults perched around a rock pool with one calling briefly Locality Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Western Cape Province, South Africa (ssp capensis)
Greg Baker 22 September 2002 1 year ago 17 sec 4.5
An adult perched on a post and calling Locality Paarl Bird Sanctuary, Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa (ssp capensis)
Greg Baker 27 September 2002 1 year ago 10 sec 4.2
one bird in a village Locality Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda (ssp wellsi)
Daniêl Jimenez 20 September 2010 3 years ago 6 sec 3.7
An adult carrying nesting material Locality Cape Town, Western Cape Province, South Africa (ssp capensis)
Greg Baker 24 September 2002 1 year ago 8 sec 3.7
PhotosSee all 16 photos
Foraging in the hotel garden
Locality Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
Lindsay Hansch 6 September 2007 2 years ago 4.3
A bird in the paddle
Locality Potchefstroom, North West Province, South Africa
Tadeusz Stawarczyk 17 April 2011 2 years ago 4
A typical ground bird
Locality St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa
Guy Poisson 7 November 2012 1 year ago 3.8
Adult bird in the sand.
Locality Boulders Beach, Cape Town, Western Cape Province, South Africa
Martin Främke 6 April 2011 1 year ago 3.8
adult feeding in a meadow
Locality Walvis Bay, Erongo Region, Namibia
Marco Valentini 24 August 2013 23 weeks ago 3.6
Bird in the hand, then flew off. Rescued from my cat. Quite ok and unharmed.
Locality Newcastle, KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa
Mary-Joye 15 July 2011 51 weeks ago 3.5