American Pipit

photo by Phil Swanson

Anthus rubescens
L 6 1/2″ (17 cm).

Song or calls:
Very vocal, with loud rapid “killy-killy-killy.” 

Description: Sexes similar.
Sparrow-like. Brownish-gray above, with faint streaking, except on the hindneck and rump; breeding birds have a grayer tinge on back; uniform buffy underparts, with moderate streaking; buffy eyebrow; mostly dark bill; dark legs; and white outer tail feathers.

Behavior: Has habit of nervously pumping tail.

american pipit
Habitat: Migrants found in open plains, fields, and bare shorelines. Generally prefer moist to wet habitats over dry ones.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant across Nebraska, and a rare winter resident.

Fun Facts: American Pipits may benefit greatly from Global Warming which will allow them to breed farther north than usual, however, this may result in more fragmented populations.

Additional Information: Formerly called Water Pipit. Apparently more abundant and much more conspicuous than Sprague’s Pipit.

American Pipit - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)