The diminutive yellow wagtail brightens up our rivers in summer
The latest Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) annual report, published by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), shows that all three UK breeding wagtail species are in long-term decline.
However, the reasons behind these trends are not clear. Our three wagtail species are: yellow wagtail, a farmland bird that migrates to sub-Saharan Africa, grey wagtail and pied wagtail, both of which remain largely in the UK over the winter.
Importantly, the races of both pied and yellow wagtails breeding in the UK nest almost nowhere else in the world.
Yellow wagtails are in severe decline, as the latest BBS figures reveal a 43 per cent reduction between 1995 and 2012.