Australasian pipit

Australasian pipit
Anthus novaeseelandiae

Photo by David Cook (Flickr)

Common name:
Australasian pipit (en); petinha-austral (pt); pipit austral (fr); bisbita austral (es); Australspornpieper (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Motacillidae

This species is found throughout most of Australia, including Tasmania, in eastern Papua-New Guinea, throughout mainland New Zealand and also in the offshore archipelagos of Chatham, Aukland and Antipodes.

These birds are 16-19 cm long and weigh 35-40 g.

The Australasian pipit is mostly found in dry, short grasslands, also using pastures, road sides, coastal dunes, arable land, moist grasslands, rural gardens, forest clearings and edges, and wetlands. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.000 m.

They feed on various insects, such as beetles, wasps, flies, crickets, grubs and larvae, as well as spiders, snails, small crabs and sandhoppers. They also take grass seeds.

Breeding:Australasian pipits can breed all year round, but mainly in August-February. They are monogamous, but the female builds the nest alone, a bulky, deep cup made of woven grass and lined with moss and lichen. It is placed on the ground, well hidden on a steep bank, or at the base of a clump of grass, tussock, fern or scrub. There she lays 2-4 creamy eggs with brown blotches, which are incubated by both parents for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 14 days after hatching. Each pair can raise 2-3 clutches per year.

Conservation:IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as generally common to very common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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