RIGA - The Latvian Ornithological Society has chosen the western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flavor) as the Bird of the Year 2016.
The population of the western yellow wagtail in Latvia has declined by 95 percent since 1995.
The bird inhabits open country near water, such as wet meadows. Intensive agriculture is one of the threats to the bird also in other European countries.
The Latvian Ornithological Society calls on residents to report on their observations of the western yellow wagtail on dabasdati.lv Internet website. The society is also collecting data for the Atlas of European Breeding Birds, therefore reports on the western yellow wagtail are important also for this European-scale project.
There are four species of wagtails breeding in Latvia - the white wagtail (Motacilla alba) – Latvia’s national bird, the western yellow wagtail, the citrine wagtail (Motacilla citreola), and the gray wagtail (Motacilla cinerea).
The Latvian Ornithological Society has been naming the bird of the year annually since 1996.