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American Pipit

Silhouette PipitsPipits
American PipitAnthus rubescens
  • ORDER: Passeriformes
  • FAMILY: Motacillidae

Basic Description

American Pipits are among the very few species of American songbirds that nest in both Arctic tundra and alpine meadows. Although they’re found in the open and are not especially shy, these small birds can still be inconspicuous as they walk briskly through tundra or agricultural fields. They also forage along river and lake shores, much in the manner of a shorebird. If you don’t live in the Arctic or above treeline, look for these birds in winter.

More ID Info
image of range map for American Pipit
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

For most people, migration and winter are the best times to find American Pipits. Look and listen carefully for flocks in farm fields and other open areas, where pipits blend with the ground color or can be hidden by stubble. Keep an eye on reservoirs and rivers with sandy or muddy margins where pipits often hunt for aquatic insects. Flying pipits call frequently—often the first clue they are present. A spotting scope can help you pick out distant birds in wide-open spaces.

Other Names

  • Bisbita Pechianteado (Spanish)
  • Pipit d'Amérique (French)
  • Cool Facts