First breeding record of Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) for Tunisia

Olioso G., Pons, J.-M. & Touihri, M. 2013. First breeding record of Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea for Tunisia. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 20 (1): 76-77.
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Première donnée de nidification de la Bergeronnette des ruisseaux Motacilla cinerea en Tunisie. Un nid de la Bergeronnette des ruisseaux a été trouvé le 18 mai 2012 au centre de vacances d’Aïn Soltane, Jendouba, Tunisie. Il s’agit de la première preuve de reproduction de l’espèce dans le pays.


In the Maghreb, Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea is known to breed in Morocco and Algeria (Isenmann & Moali 2000, Thévenot et al. 2003). In Tunisia, proof of breeding was lacking, although the observation of a pair uttering alarm-calls near a stream in the Kroumirie Mountains, in the north-west, in April 2000, suggested the species had a nest there (Isenmann et al. 2005).

During 8–21 May 2012, while staying at the holiday centre of Aïn Soltane, Governorat of Jendouba, north-western Tunisia, we regularly observed a pair of Grey Wagtails uttering alarm-calls and carrying food. We eventually mist-netted the male (see attached photo). On 18 May, we found the pair’s rather voluminous nest under the beams supporting the roof of a house; it contained at least three downy chicks. The staff of the holiday centre subsequently indicated a second nest, placed in the same situation, but in another building, that had held a first clutch earlier in the season.


Isenmann, P., Gaultier, T., El Hili, A. Azafzaf, H., Dlensi, H. & Smart, M. 2005. Oiseaux de Tunisie / Birds of Tunisia. Paris: Société d’Études Ornithologiques de France.

Isenmann, P. & Moali, A. 2000. Oiseaux d’Algérie / Birds of Algeria. Paris: Société d’Études Ornithologiques de France.

Thévenot, M., Vernon, R. & Bergier, P. 2003. The Birds of Morocco: An Annotated Checklist. BOU Checklist No. 20. Tring: British Ornithologists’ Union & British Ornithologists’ Club.

 Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), Tunisia

Adult male Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea), Aïn Soltane, Tunisia, 16 May 2012 (Georges Olioso / Internet Bird Collection)