American Pipit

Leonard and I saw a small flock of American pipits feeding in a plowed field off of Highway 200  near Adin CA (Lassen County). Periodically the pipits would fly up to the nearby power lines, where I was able to photograph them. The pipits were finding seeds and insects, their primary diet, in the open field.

We first knew this brown bird with stripes, a thin bill and white outer tail feathers as a water pipit. The water pipit is found throughout North America, Breat Britian, and the mountains of Europe and Central America. Recently the three North American pipit subspecies and the most easterly eastern Asian subspecies were shown to be a distinct species and were designated the American pipit (Anthus rubescens),  while the remainder of the subspecies retained the name water pipit (Anthus spinoletta).

American pipits breed in the Arctic tundra and winter in the coastal areas of the United States and most of Central America.

Note that the bird in one picture appears to have lost most of its tail feathers.

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