We have recently had the pleasure of watching a pair of willy wagtails raise three chicks in our front yard. Here is their story…
I had noticed willy wagtails collecting cobwebs and threads from around the garden. Then I discovered why; they were building a nest on a rafter on our front veranda. They are such bright sparkling birds to watch around the place.
Three days later there were three eggs in the nest.
We have babies… Three babies hatched today.
The babies are now nine days old and feathering up quite well. They are also filling that nest. For the last couple of days they have been talking (or shouting “Pick me”) whenever the parents come with some food. It is a never ending job feeding them, the parents turn up roughly every minute with something.
Day Ten. What a difference a day makes! Not so squeezy…
I came home from work this afternoon to find one chick in the nest, one outside the nest and one in a nearby garden. It is only twelve days since they hatched.
I really didn’t think they were ready for the outside world yet so when the one in the garden came back to below the nest, I popped him back up on the rafter. He quickly scurried back in with his siblings. Too many cats roam around here for him to be safe on the ground overnight.
Mum and dad were dive bombing me and swearing at me while I took these photos.
Day Fourteen and the baby Willy Wagtails have all left the nest. The first one spent last night in a nearby tree and tonight all three are in our Flowering Ash tree. They can fly but are still on their ‘L’ plates. They are safe from cats there but we had a tree snake around today so I’m not sure how safe they are from it.
This morning the whole family were still here but they are disappeared later on. Our neighbour mentioned that the magpies she feeds were being harassed by a couple of willy wagtails so maybe ours just moved next door. It will be fun looking out for them and hopefully next year a brand new family will be raised.
The willie wagtail is unrelated to the Eurasian wagtails of the family Motacillidae . It is one of 47 members of the fantail genus
Thankyou for sharing,
I was wondering how long it takes them. The nest seems so small n I was so worried for them last night as it was raining. I can’t wait to see more of them.
Weve just noticed 3 eggs in our nest today
We have a balcony high above the River Dart. Lots of ivy, creepers and pots of plants. This winter, after ten years, we have Willy Wagtail who eats small flies off the window panes and pulvarised Kellogs Corn flakes. We want to encourage him . Any suggestions? We also befriend herring gulls and jackdaws but the Waggy is the only small bid that comes up to our fourth floor balconies.. Julia. Totnes.
Hi Julia, I don't have any suggestions other than providing an environment that the birds like. We don't do anything other than having heaps of trees and shrubs around and we tend not to spray insects so there is a food source available to the birds. It's great having the wildlife around!
Just today we noticed that there are 3 baby willy wagtails in our backyard. Although tonight when i went outside i noticed them all sitting alone on our clothes line with the mother or father no where in sight. What should i do? Do you have any advice?
Hi Ellie, I don’t know much about it but I’d be inclined not to worry. Mum and dad wouldn’t be too far away.
Our baby Willy Wagtails, we noticed a nest in front of our alfresco a d we were so excited about it, we didn’t want to disturb them so they can be relax, we reduce the used of that door so they won’t run away.
One they when they weren’t around we look at it and was three eggs in the nest, after a couple of weeks we made a video and only two eggs hatched, on Monday 26/10 they were not fully feathered and by Friday 30/10 they gone. We were worried that a cat, big bird or my dog ate them because it has been just 5 days gap to be ready to fly out and we didn’t see them fully feathered and calling their parent. It is possible that the parents removed them from that nest to a safer place? We looked around the garden and we couldn’t see any signs that they have been ate. We are really worried and concerned about what happened to the babies. Tha parents are still around talking each other.
We too have just witnessed a Wagtail pair bring three chicks into the world in our garden. They nested on a wire between our home and garage, just under the eaves for shelter. We have been surprised at how quickly they have progressed. From egg to flight has been less than a month. The first and second chicks left the nest on consecutive days, while the last of the three chicks is sitting up in the nest, a little apprehensive about heading into the unknown. I would guess tomorrow will be the day it leaves though. The only negatives we've found with them nesting close to the house is the constant swooping by the male adult, and the poops we will need to clean from our concrete paths when they leave. It's been a very enlightening month, and we have quite a few good photos and videos of their progress.
My willy wagtails make a nest on my Hills Hoist . 2 eggs hatched a couple of days before Christmas about 22/12/20. Today 30/12/20 the nest was empty. The 2 babies had feathers but really didn’t think they would go so soon. Hope they are ok.
They don't seem to stay in the nest very long at all.
We have a Willie wagtail on our clothes line, we made a cover with shade cloth to protect it from the storms. 2 willies hatched today, one to go, I was wondering what they do with their empty shells that seem to disappear from their nest.
We too had Willy Wagtails nesting. On a branch of our Ficus tree 2 metres off the ground.Mum Dad and they had 3 babies.We looked foreward to them flying around .They got really friendly .We fed them Mealy worms .They used to actually ask us for them them feed them to their babies.They used to follow us around .So beautiful.They are all gone now but loved our back garden here in WA .Mealy worms can be bought in the pet shops and kept in fridge .They are dormant when put in a dish come alive .The Willys love them .Hope they come back next year or soon ..