American Pipit

Anthus rubescens




Wagtails and Pipits (Motacillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Gray white with brown markings

Number of Eggs:

3 - 7

Incubation Days:

13 - 15

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground., Sheltered by banks or rocks.

Nest Material:

Often no nest materials, but will sometimes use sticks and grass.





American Pipit: Small pipit with gray-brown upperparts and pale buff underparts; breast is faintly to darkly streaked. Tail is dark with white edges. Bill is thin and long. Sexes are similar. Winter adult is browner. A walking ground dweller that bobs its tail continually.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

American Pipit: Three to seven gray white eggs, marked with brown, are laid in a cup of grass and twigs built on the ground sheltered by a rock or tussock. Incubation ranges from 13 to 15 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

American Pipit: Feeds on insects, spiders, mites, mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic worms; forages while walking on the ground.


American Pipit: Song is a series of rapid "cheedle" notes. Flight call is a sharp "pip pipit."

Similar Species

American Pipit: Sprague's Pipit has fewer streaks on underparts, more streaks on back, paler face, and pink legs. Sparrows and Longspurs have thick, conical bills.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X