Anthus rubescens
(American Pipit)


Order: Passeriformes
Order Description: Passerines
Family: Motacillidae
Family Description: Pipits

Physical Description:
Length 6.5". Brownish-gray above with a rich buffyClick word for definition breast and belly, and faint streaks on chest. White outer tail feathers. Walks in open ground, rather than hopping. Rear toenail elongated.

Similar species- Horned Lark, Sprague's Pipit.

Song:
Flight call is a sharp "pip-pipit", the song is a series of rapid "cheedle" notes.

Distribution:
Breeds in arctic tundraClick word for definition and mountains of North America. Winters (primarily coastally) from British Columbia, east to New York, and south through southern U.S. to Guatemala. Nests in alpine conditions on Sawtell Peak and the mountains to the east of Henry's Lake in eastern Idaho.

Habitat:
When not breeding, found along seacoasts, beaches, mudflats, wet meadows, sandy areas and cultivated fields. Rosy Finches and pipits are only birds in Idaho which nest exclusively in alpine habitat.

Diet:
Species feeds on insects, spiders, mites, mollusks, crustaceans, and aquatic worms.

Ecology:
Builds cup-shaped nest on ground under rock or vegetation. Forms large flocks in winter. Forages while walking along open ground, or on mud flats and marshes. Also wades through shallow pools in tidal flats.

Reproduction:
Breeding begins early to mid-June. Female incubatesClick word for definition 4-5 eggs (sometimes 3-7), for about 14 days. Nestlings are altricialClick word for definition, are tended by both adults, and leave nest 14-15 days after hatching. In central Idaho mountains, nests with eggs can be consistently located around July 4.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABPBM02050
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4,NTMB
National Rank: N5B,N5N

Important State References:
No references are available at this time.


Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.