American Pipit

Anthus rubescens

Once called the Water Pipit, the American Pipit breeds both in high alpine zones of the western USA and into the tundra of Alaska and Arctic Canada. This species has two subspecies; A. r. rubescens (American Pipit) lives in North America, and A. r. japonicus (Buff-Bellied Pipit) lives in northeastern Asia and Japan. Future DNA analysis may show these two races will warrant a split into separate species. Studies have shown both subspecies have been shifting their preferred nesting territories northward in the past 100 years. Some speculate this is a response to the shifts in global climate patterns.

Most of us will only meet these birds on their winter grounds, foraging with their bouncing, tringa-like walks through grasslands or agricultural fields, or along the edges of streams or lakes, as they search for invertebrate prey.

Click map markers to reveal further information