Australian Birds, Australian Wildlife, Wildlife
Comments 4

Willie Wagtail – Djidi Djidi

Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leugophrys Herdsman Lake Western Australia

The Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys) is a small passerine bird that can be found across mainland Australia and up through New Guinea, Bismarck archipelago, Eastern Indonesia and the Solomon Islands. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in feistiness. While the sideways swinging of its fanned tail might be a salute to a nearby friend, attitude goes bad as soon as danger appears and wagtails are known for chasing and hitting much larger birds that threaten their nest.

Willie Wagtails can be found in various habitats, yet seem to prefer open woodlands nearby rivers and wetlands where insects are plentiful. It’s not uncommon to see them feeding near cattle or kangaroos, using the animal’s back as an ideal vantage point while hunting prey disturbed by those grazers.



  1. Have had a pair nesting in quite a small tree in my front yard. I know what you mean by “wagtails chasing larger birds”, but they will even take on my cat, my little dog and my car reversing out of the drive way. Too funny for such a little bird. They have got 3 little Djidi Djidis, so I can understand all the fuss.

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