PASSERIFORMES: Rhipiduridae

Rhipidura leucophrys  

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)
click photo for larger image
© Vik Dunis 2011
Karmona Station, QLD (Apr, 2011)

The Black and White Fantail

"SWEET, pretty little creature,"
When the summer comes again
'Mid the burgeoning bush I feature
Debonair and passing vain.
Yet, who'd not condone self praises
That my perky airs denote
While my snowy shirt-front blazes
Under my sleek evening coat?

Tho' my fancy names are legion--
Willie Wagtail, Shepherd's Friend--
Varying with every region,
Each one fits me in the end,
Friendliness is e'er my fashion;
To the world I bob and bow,
Sheep have ever been my passion,
And I venerate a cow.

Courage matching well my bragging
I can show when in the mood,
As they know who would be lagging
Near my fiercely guarded brood,
Down I swoop, and, scolding, picking,
Tiny as I am and weak,
At the rude intruder clicking
My small, ineffective beak.

"Sweet, pretty little creature,"
Calling when the day is bright.
I am too a joyous feature
Of the moonlit summer night.
With my snowy shirt-front gleaming
Underneath your window sill,
While the feathered world is dreaming
I'm awake, and boasting still.

The Black and White Fantail
by C J Dennis (1876-1938)
The Singing Garden (1935) p.99.


A Willie Wagtail on the banks of the flooded Cooper Creek.

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie and Wilma Wagtail do the wild thing

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail on nest

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie and Lily

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail on nest

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Adult beside nest

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Nestling being fed

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

"Agro Wag"

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie attacking Brown Falcon on Nest

Willie Wagtail (Rhipidura leucophrys)

Willie Wagtail