The yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) is a small passerine, whose nearest relatives are the white wagtail, the citrine wagtail and the grey wagtail. The species is distributed in large parts of Eurasia, North Africa and Western Alaska. Sixteen races can be identified through its range, differing from each other by the pattern and colour of the head. Two of the races are found in Estonia. The yellow wagtail breeds in wet grasslands such as watermeadows and open countryside near the sea. Feeding mostly on invertebrates, it is a good assistant to the farmer. The yellow wagtail is a protected species of the 3rd category, being relatively common in Estonia at present, but destruction of its habitats by grasslands overgrowing with brush and reduction of animal breeding could cut down its population to critical.