- 3.9–5.9 in
- 0.8–0.9 oz
- Pipit de Sprague (French)
- Bisbita llanera (Spanish)
- Displaying males often remain airborne for half an hour. In one case, a male Sprague's Pipit was observed displaying for three full hours before descending to the ground. No other bird species is known to perform such prolonged displays
Breeds and winters in open grassland with good drainage and no shrubs or trees.
Mostly insects and spiders, as well as some seeds.
- Clutch Size
- 4–6 eggs
- Egg Description
- Pale whitish with brown blotches.
- Condition at Hatching
- Downy and helpless.
A cup woven of fine grasses placed on the ground. Some nests have canopies of long grasses, sometimes forming a complete dome.
Territorial male performs a display by flying from the ground into the wind, ascending to 50-100 meters off the ground, singing and gliding (often pushed backward by the wind), then flapping again and repeating, and finally plummeting straight down and flying into the grass. Picks prey from ground or grasses while walking or running.
Loss of habitat, as native prairie has been overgrazed and converted for farmland, has led to dramatic declines in Sprague's Pipit populations throughout its range. This species is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action.
- Robbins, M. B., and B. C Dale. 1999. Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii). In The Birds of North America, No. 439 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.