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Australasian Pipit, Anthus novaeseelandiae

Australasian  Pipit
Photo copyright Dave Watts

Description

The Australasian Pipit is a small (to 185mm), brown ground-dwelling bird. The uppersurface is mottled dark brown with buff feather edges. It has a pale, creamy white stripe on the eyebrows and below the cheeks. The underparts are pale buff with dark brown streaks. The eye is brown and the bill and feet are pale pink-grey. The colouring affords good camouflage.

It is also known as Richard's Pipit.

Habitat

The Australasian Pipit is found in open country, singularly or in pairs. They occur in a range of habitat types from native grasslands,  wet heaths to dry shrublands, open woodland clearings and pastures.

Diet

The Australasian Pipit forages on the ground for beetles, spiders, insects and their larvae, as well as seeds. It runs in a jerky, darting motion, stopping to perch on low stones or shrubs, wagging its tail up and down.

Breeding

The nest is a deep cup lined with grasses and hairs. It is built in a depression in the ground, sometimes sheltered by a grass tussock, stone or piece of wood. The female builds the nest, incubates the eggs and feeds the young. Two to five eggs are laid.

Call

The call is a thin, brisk "tswee" or a drawn out sparrow-like chirp. (Audio recordings courtesy of David Stewart/Nature Sound)

Distribution Map courtesy Natural Values Atlas, data from theLIST
© 2010 State of Tasmania.

Distribution

The Australasian Pipit is found across Australia. It is also found in New Guinea, New Zealand, Africa, Asia and as a rare but regular vagrant in Europe.

In Tasmania, the species is common and nomadic. It is also found on the Bass Strait islands.