Yellow in vogue for birds and plants in 2017

Yellow is in the new black this year as the western yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava) has been named Latvia's bird of the year for 2017 and a yellow flower - the dwarf everlast (Helichrysum arenarium) - takes the title for plant of the year.

The yellow wagtail was named the bird of the year by the Latvian Ornithology Association as its local population has declined 95% since 1995, ornithologist Ainārs Auniņš told Latvian Radio.

The bird lives in open spaces close to water, such as wet meadows. Careless agriculture is one of threats to the bird in Latvia just like elsewhere in Europe.

The yellow wagtail is similar to the white wagtail in shape but is yellow. Its song is plain and simple.

Last year the honors for bird of the year went to the great spotted woodpecker.

Meanwhile the dwarf everlast, also known by the poetic name of immortelle and commonly called "the little yellow cat's paw" in Latvian for the shape of its flower, was named the plant of the year by the Latvian Botanists' Association.

The perennial herb is most commonly found in Latvia's southeastern reaches. It's used as a remedy for a number of ailments like stomach problems, the cold, skin disease and more. 

Protected in Estonia and Lithuania, it is nevertheless quite common though decreasing in numbers in Latvia. 

In 2016 the plant of the year was the marsh grass of Parnassus.

The animal, habitat, and moss of the year are still to be announced -- though perhaps the abundance of yellow in this story should give us a hint.

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