AMERICAN PIPIT

AMERICAN PIPIT(Anthus rubescens) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The American Pipit is light brown with darker streaks on the breast. Breeding adults also have some yellow-orange coloring on the breast. The bill is thin and black.  There are two lighter bands above and under the eye. The legs are grey. Sexes are similar. This bird is around 15 cm (6 inches) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Anthus-rubescens
NAME: The English name ‘Pipit’ likely has an onomatopoeic origin. The Latin genus name ‘Anthus’ refers to a ‘grassland’ bird, and the Latin species name  ‘rubescens’ refers to the color ‘red’. The American pipit is another name for the Buff-bellied pipit, and before, it was classified as the Water pipit (Anthus spinoletta).
HABITAT: Summer, tundra – winter, open country such as shores and fields.
DIET: This bird walks and runs on the ground in search of insects and seeds while wagging its tail, and will change direction often.
NESTING: The nest is located on the ground in a sheltered area. Around five creamy eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female. Both parents feed the chicks.
DISTRIBUTION: Although the vast majority of this bird species breeds in Canada, its breeding range is in the Arctic and British Columbia. It can be observed across Canada during its migration. The American pipit winters in the southern USA and Mexico. Some vagrants have even been observed on Hawaii.(See note below on bird vagrancy.)
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buff-bellied_pipit#/media/File:Anthus_rubescens_map.svg
ON PEI: The American pipit does not breed on Prince Edward Island, and there have only been ‘occasional’ or ‘uncommon’ sightings so far.
CONSERVATION: American pipits would number around 20 million. Thanks to their widespread range and relatively stable population, they are not currently considered at risk.
NOTES: The American pipit is a small passerine bird in the same family as the Wagtail.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Vesper Sparrow – this pipit can easily be confused with sparrows, with two differences being the bill shape and the tail wagging.
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/american-pipit
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Pipit/id
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-pipit
http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/american_pipit
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/269/overview/American_Pipit.aspx

American pipit - Rock Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, ON - photo by Jonathan Hornung assumed
American pipit – Rock Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, ON – photo by Jonathan Hornung (assumed)

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