American Pipit Life History


Habitat TundraBreeds in arctic and alpine tundra. In migration and winter uses coastal beaches and marshes, stubble fields, recently plowed fields, mudflats, and river courses.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects and seeds.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Ground

Nest Description

Open cup of coarse, dried grasses and sedges, with lining of finer grasses and sometimes hair. Placed on ground, with overhanging vegetation.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:3-7 eggs
Egg Description:Whitish with dense dark brown spotting.
Condition at Hatching:Downy and helpless.
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Behavior Ground ForagerWalks or runs while pecking at ground or gleaning from low vegetation, frequently changing direction; occasional short flights from ground or boulders to pursue prey. Feeds in large flocks in fall and winter.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernAmerican Pipit numbers may be declining. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 20 million birds, with 52% spending some part of the year in the U.S., 87% in Canada, and 36% wintering in Mexico. They rate a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Back to top


Hendricks, Paul and N. A. Verbeek. 2012. American Pipit (Anthus rubescens), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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