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
Bird hunts for flies on sandy beach Locality Walvis Bay, Erongo Region, Namibia (ssp capensis)
Desmond Allen 9 September 2013 51 weeks ago 30 sec 4.7
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 7 years ago 35 sec 4.7
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 2 years 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 2 years 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 2 years ago 8 sec 3.7
PhotosSee all 17 photos
Foraging in the hotel garden
Locality Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
Lindsay Hansch 6 September 2007 3 years ago 4.3
Bird atop the front yard fence
Locality Lavington, Nairobi, Kenya
James Kashangaki 27 December 2014 22 weeks ago 4
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
Perched on jetty pole
Locality Velddrif, Western Cape Province, South Africa (ssp capensis)
Loutjie Steenberg 10 July 2011 3 years ago 3.7