American Pipit

Anthus rubescens

Order

PASSERIFORMES

Family

Wagtails and Pipits (Motacillidae)

Code 4

AMPI

Code 6

ANTRUB

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The American Pipit has a very large breeding range of 12,900,000 square kilometers. This includes alpine and tundra habitats in Greenland, northern and western Canada, Alaska, and the Rocky Mountains south to Arizona. It also occurs in eastern Russia and parts of northern China and Mongolia, and winters in open habitats in eastern Asia, and much of the western and southern United States south to Mexico and Guatemala. The American Pipit has an estimated global breeding population of 22 million individual birds, and a conservation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

American Pipit: Small pipit, gray-brown upperparts and pale buff underparts; breast is faintly to darkly streaked. Tail is dark with white edges. Black bill is thin and long. Legs and feet are black. It can be distinguished from sparrows by its longer bill and habit of wagging its tail up and down.

 

Range and Habitat

American Pipit: Breeds from northern Alaska, Mackenzie, Canadian Arctic islands, and Newfoundland, south in mountains to California, New Mexico, and northern New Hampshire. Spends winters across the southern states and north to British Columbia and southern New England. Preferred habitats include Arctic and alpine tundra, beaches, barren fields, agricultural lands, and golf courses.

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American Pipit SONGS AND CALLS

American Pipit C1

Call is a thin, high-pitched "tseep" or "sipit".

American Pipit C2

High-pitched, repeated "chwee-chwee-chwee" song given during a display flight.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"chee-chee-chee", "cheedal-cheedal-cheedal", "pip"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Global warming may allow these birds to winter farther north than previously, but it also may reduce and fragment existing breeding areas.
  • The absence of a breeding species of pipits in the open country of the eastern United States is due to the fact that until recently forests covered this area.
  • The American Pipit was long known as the Water Pipit. Recent studies have shown that the three North American subspecies, along with the most eastern Asiatic one, are best regarded as a distinct species.
  • They feed on insects on the edges of tundra puddles, and in alpine meadows they visit unmelted snowbanks. Warm air rising from valleys below transports insects to high altitudes; most of these die and are frozen in snowbanks, providing food for the pipits.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Outer tail feathersX
The tail feathers farthest from the center.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X