American Pipit

American Pipit

American Pipit
(Anthus rubescens)

Order:  Passeriformes
Family:  Motacillidae

American Pipit Information

Length:  6 - 7"

Breeding Habitat: Arctic tundra, alpine tundra, grassy or sedge meadows.

Winter Habitat: Bare fields, mudflats, lake shores, river sandbars, grasslands, and other open areas.

Diet:  Mostly insects, such as flies, grasshoppers, ants, moths, beetles, and caterpillars; spiders; grass seeds and weed seeds.

  Songs and calls of the American Pipit

Additional Information

American Pipit
Photo, description, habitat, behavior, diet, nesting, migration status, and conservation status. Includes range map and song. (From BirdWeb)

American Pipit - possibly Juvenile

Juvenile American Pipit

Photo © Robert Royse

American Pipit
Identification Tips

  • Slender bill
  • White eye ring and supercilium
  • White throat with dark malar streak
  • Brownish-olive upperparts with fine black streaks on back
  • Wings blackish with broad buffy edges
  • Buffy underparts with dark streaking across breast and onto flanks
  • Black tail with white outer tail feathers
  • Dark legs
  • In Spring and Summer, less heavily streaked below and upperparts grayer
  • Sexes similar
  • Wags its tail
  • Often found in flocks on the ground in sparsely vegetated areas (plowed fields, shores, tundra)

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

Range in New England

In New England, the American Pipit has been known to breed above timberline on Mt. Katahdin, Maine, and Mt. Washington, New Hampshire.

Other than these isolated locations, this bird is only seen in New England during migration.

Christmas Bird Count Map
Historical CBC Map from USGS