What wagtails happen on light?What insectivorous birds most often catch sight to us? If who thinks that it is sparrows, he is deeply mistaken. Sparrows - zernoyadny birds, and insects eat occasionally. Too you will not often see titmouses, they only for the winter to the dwelling of the person for a pro-forage fly, and in the summer generally live in the woods. And here before eyes at us the small birdies who are ridiculously pulling a tail quite often flash … These are wagtails.
But is told, not always these birdies were so called. In ancient times they had no name, the birdie and a birdie, and served they at court of the tsar of birds - a terrible predator. The service was both heavy, and dangerous: the tsar punished guilty persons court … He ate them.
The birdie was engaged in an important issue - she did not allow to imperial chambers of insects which could prevent the tsar. The birdie so tried that she did not even notice once behind the back of herself the tsar`s figure. The master seized a birdie with a sharp-clawed paw, she decided that lives the end came, but heard the tsar`s voice:
- You well work, I raise you. Now you are the main opakhalitsa, and you will live in the palace.
This work was even heavier. For days on end, while the tsar sat in an office and worked, the birdie had to wave one of the wings that to it was not so hot. If one wing was tired, the birdie began to brush away the tsar with another. Sometimes the tsar closed eyes and deeply reflected. Once at such moment at a birdie both wings so were tired that she turned to the tsar a back and began to brush away it with a tail. Here the tsar opened eyes and loudly cried:
- You offended me, be so punished!
The dexterous birdie slipped out in a chink and flew away. Now she runs on freedom, but all the time swings a tail, as if sneering at the former master.
And this legend, most likely, from - behind a hostility constant with birds of prey was born. Wagtails pursue them with unsurpassed courage then other birds also join them.
Wagtails are widespread widely, live everywhere. They are migratory insectivorous birds. Especially dexterously directly are quick to grasp dragonflies, butterflies and flies, including very large. They say that hunting for flies is a favourite sport at wagtails. Observe them. Here the wagtail runs on a path, pecking some insects from its surface, but suddenly promptly soars up into air and right there comes back. Look narrowly and you will see in her beak a large fly at whom several dexterous movements wings then the insect disappears in a mouth of a birdie are removed.
There are several subspecies of wagtails, and they differ, besides coloring of feathers, in the sizes and some features of dwelling. The wagtail white is most widespread, length of her body of 16 - 19 cm, weight of 20 - 23 g, is painted it so: the upper body is gray, lower - white, the head white with a black neck and a hat. This most widespread look lives across all Europe, Asia and North Africa, meets also on Alaska.
The second is a yellow wagtail. Honor an area of its distribution same, as well as at white, and here in appearance there are differences allowing experts to distinguish it in separate subspecies in some places it even call a plisk. Length of its 16 cm, and weight - 17 g, at it is shorter a tail, than at white, and others than tone in plumage: on a back a shade of olive color, and a chin and before a neck can be yellow or white color, but the main difference is color of a belly - at males it brightly - yellow, and at females - belovato - yellow.
Except these two there are still zheltogolovy and zheltoloby wagtails, but only their experts can distinguish. Let`s note that all these fowls try to be kept near water by separate families or small groups, nesting at the same time on the earth or in hollows.
However except all these types and versions in our country there live two more look differing from the others and on appearance, and a habitat. It is about a wood wagtail who lives only in oak groves. For construction of nests she chooses horizontal branches of the oak growing only in Primorye. It has all other signs of wagtails: and a tail it also shakes, and is similar in appearance.
And in Altai, in its foothills, there lives one more type of wagtails differing from habitual to us in both appearance, and habitat.
In our very first arrival to Altai we stopped at the consecrated source with very tasty, but absolutely ice water. There on the coast of the streamlet which is running out from a source we saw the nice yellow birdie who is attentively considering us. Having convinced that we will not do harm to it, the birdie was developed and ran familiar gait with twitching of a tail. It was the mountain wagtail. This birdie nests in coastal breaks, under garbage deposits, and a favourite forage for her are larvae a vesnyanok and caddis flies.
The wagtail turned out such popular with the different people that is present at many proverbs and sayings. Let`s remember some of them: “The wagtail arrives - a tail ice breaks“, this popular wisdom is based on the fact that the wagtail arrives before all other birds when only begin to thaw coast of the rivers and streams, and they are still held down by ice. Well, and close to it: “The wagtail knocks on a roof that snow melted quicker“.
It appears, to dream about a wagtail - fortunately if she settles on the house - to good luck if she walks on the growing flax, then he will grow up high.
Well and finally. The wagtail is in Poland under the care of the Mother of God, it took out prickly thorns from the head of the crucified Christ.
And here it was idolized by almost died out people of Ainu which lived once on the Kuril Islands as brought down the land and water from primitive chaos.