Sprague's Pipit

Anthus spragueii




Wagtails and Pipits (Motacillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Buff or gray with brown or gray marks at large end

Number of Eggs:

4 - 6

Incubation Days:

12 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Grasses, twigs, weeds lined with down.





Sprague's Pipit: Medium-sized pipit with streaked, brown upperparts, buff breast with dark streaks, and white throat and belly. Tail is brown with white edges. Legs are yellow to pale brown. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Sprague's Pipit: This species breeds from central Alberta east to Manitoba and south from Montana to South Dakota. It may breed as far west as British Columbia. It spends winters along the southwestern and southern states from California to Florida and throughout much of Mexico. Its preferred habitats include short-grass fields.

Breeding and Nesting

Sprague's Pipit: Four to six buff or gray eggs marked with brown or gray at larger end are laid in a nest made of grass and twigs, lined with fine materials, and built on the ground. Incubation ranges from 12 to 14 days and is carried out by the female; may raise two broods per year.

Foraging and Feeding

Sprague's Pipit: Feeds on insects and seeds; forages on the ground by walking or running, constantly bobbing its tail.


Sprague's Pipit: Song is a series of descending notes; call is high-pitched "sweep-sweep."

Similar Species

Sprague's Pipit: American Pipit has darker legs and lack streaks on back; constantly bobs its tail.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X