Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  American Pipit
 
 

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  Order Passeriformes
   Suborder Passeres - Oscines (Song Birds)
      Parvorder Passerida (Superfamily Passeroidea)
         Family Montacillidae - Wagtails, Pipits

  Passerines are generally smaller than non-passerines. They have a perching foot with three toes directed forward and the one backward with locking tendons to facilitate perching when their tendons are flexed. All passerines scratch by bringing the foot over the wing. Incubation ranges from 11 -21 days. Young hatch blind with little or no down and spend 10-15 days or so in the nest - development is rapid and parents provide care beyond fledging.
Oscines are passerines with complex syringeal musculature used to produce varied vocalizations. 
Passeroids include the Nine-primaried Oscines, pipits, Old World sparrows, and weavers.
Wagtails and Pipits are small passerines with relatively long tails. They are terrestrial insectivores of open country. Their hind claw is long and nearly straight. Pipits are gregarious and walk (never hop) on the ground. 
     
     
  □ American Pipit, Anthus rubescens
 
   Cornell     USGS     WIki     E
        WINTER - Uncommon / Rare
            TUNDRA, ALPINE MEADOWS, SEACOASTS, MUDFLATS, PASTURES, OPEN FIELDS
 
 
   American Pipits (formerly called Water Pipits) are relatively small, slender birds of open areas, often found in flocks. Adults have a faintly streaked back, prominent wing bars, pale legs, and a bold malar (side of the throat) stripe with black streaks on a white breast. There are also paler birds that are somewhat buffy with few streaks. They have dark legs. When standing, they frequently bob their tails. They walk upright and bob their head much like a dove. In flight there are white edges to the tail.
   Pipits migrate in flocks, primarily by day.
American Pipit
     
American Pipit. Bodega Bay, CA
Photo by Ed Konrad
  RANGE: Pipits breed in the Arctic - northern Labrador and Quebec, Nunavut and the larger Arctic Islands. There are also populations from Alaska and Yukon south through British Columbia and western Montana (and western Colorado). In winter, they move to the coasts and lower US states, south to Guatemala and El Salvador.
  BREEDING: Monogamous. One brood. They nest on the ground. The female takes 4-5 days to build a sunken cup lined with grass or hair. She lays 4-6 (3-7) eggs and incubates them for 13-16 days. The male feeds the female during incubation. Young are altricial and fledge after 13-16 days. Both parents care for the young.
  DIET: Their diet includes insects, aquatic invertebrates, seeds and some berries. They forage by walking, plucking insects from the ground or plants. They may forage in shallow water. They usually forage in flocks.
  VOICE: Their voice is a series of high clear phrases, given in flight.
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Kiawah - rare spring and fall, occasional winter.
      Coastal - fairly common winter visitor. Hilton Head - uncommon winter visitor.
         Cape Romain
- occasional/absent (breeds)/uncommon/uncommon. Huntington Beach - exceptional October.
      Caw Caw - rare/absent/rare/rare. ACE - occasional/absent/rare/uncommon.
   CBC: ACE 149, 170, 60, 55, 172, 5, 0, 142; Charleston 19, 2, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0;
            Sun City/Okatie 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 3, 0, 0;
            McClellanville 0, 12, 23, 1, nc, 3, 0, 0; Winyah Bay x, x, 0, 1, 0, 1, 4, 1; Litchfield/Pawley's 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1.
      Water Pipit, Anthus spinoletta - ACE 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 77, 0.
          [presumed erroneous listing - should be American Pipits?]
   P&G: Common winter visitor. 10 September - 15 May.
   Avendex: 5 records. Maximum: 12,000, 1 hour observation during a snow storm, Fort Moultrie, January 23, 2003. Other records in May.
   Potter: In the low country, pipits abound from late October to early May in large fields. Hugh flocks may occur in freshly-plowed fields. They also visit golf courses and airports, favoring bare spots in grassy areas. 12,000 flew past Forth Moultrie in a snowstorm in January 2003.
  ●  Rare on Seabrook. We regularly see pipits in open country in the upstate in winter flying across the road. However, I have not seen them on Seabrook. The pastures and golf courses may be the best places to look.
       
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