Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Vulnerable

Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii)


Taxonomy

French: Pipit de Sprague German: Präriepieper Spanish: Bisbita llanero
Taxonomy:

Alauda Spragueii

Audubon

, 1844,

near Fort Union, North Dakota, USA

.

Molecular analyses suggest close relationship with A. furcatus, A. hellmayri and A. bogotensis, and may form a clade with these species and A. lutescens, A. correndera and A. antarcticus. Monotypic.

Distribution:

S Canada (C & SE Alberta, C & S Saskatchewan, SW Manitoba; occasionally S British Columbia) and N USA (N & C Montana, North Dakota, N South Dakota, NW Minnesota). Winters from S USA S to C Mexico.

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; c. 25 g. Rather small, highly secretive pipit with strongly streaked upperparts. Has indistinct pale buffish supercilium, pale buffy grey-brown ear-coverts... read more

Voice

Song, almost always in flight, a musical series of thin, jingling phrases on descending scale,... read more

Habitat

Grassland and weedy fields on plains and prairies during summer; in non-breeding season, temperate... read more

Food and feeding

Small invertebrates, mainly insects such as grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), ants (Hymenoptera), beetles (Coleoptera), bugs (... read more

Breeding

Laying in late May and Jun. Displaying male ascends to over 100 m, circles and sings with tail spread, then plunges, wings closed, towards... read more

Movements

Migratory. Leaves breeding grounds from late Sept, flying mostly through C USA; spends non-breeding... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Population has declined rapidly. Probably fairly common in some parts of range but uncommon to rare in others; in USA, breeds only irregularly in South Dakota and... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S. (2018). Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/57789 on 19 November 2018).