Formerly a rarity in the UK, the word "white" has been dropped from the official name, but is still much used by birders. The birds in the UK, which now seem to be colonising, are of European origin in the main, but the species occurs right acoss Asia to Australia, and many parts of Africa and the Americas. The Australian and American subspecies have been proposed as splits, but this seems unlikely at present. Just in case, the right hand bird is from Oz, the left from USA.

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