PIPITs of South America and their Allies

Order Passeriformes    Family Motacillidae

The Motacillidae are a family of small passerine birds with medium to long tails. They include the longclaws, pipits and wagtails. The longclaws are entirely found in sub Saharan Africa, and the wagtails are predominately found in Europe, Africa and Asia. The pipits have the most widely distributed, being found mostly in the Old World but occurring also in the Americas and oceanic islands.

Wagtails, pipits, and longclaws are slender, small to medium sized passerines, ranging from 14 to 17 centimetres in length, with short necks and long tails[2]. They have long, pale legs with long toes and claws, particularly the hind toe which can be up to 4 cm in length in some longclaws. Overall the robust longclaws are larger than the pipits and wagtails. The plumage of most pipits is dull brown and reminiscent of the larks. The adult male longclaws have brightly coloured undersides. The wagtails often have striking plumage, including grey, black, white, and yellow.

Motacillids take a wide range of invertebrate prey, especially insects are the most commonly taken, but also including spiders, worms. They occupy almost all available habitats, from the shore to high mountains. Wagtails prefer wetter habitats to the pipits.

Genus Anthus

Pipit, Correndera  Anthus correndera  Found: South America
Image by: 1, 2)  Cláudio Timm - Argentine Lake, Argentina

Pipit, Hellmayr's  Anthus hellmayri  Found: South America
The Hellmayer's Pipit is a warm colored pipit; some buff or cinnamon on the underparts - often on the breast and flanks. Streaking on upper-breast only.
Image by: 1) Carlos Almeida - Brazil  2) Claudio Timm  3) Pablo Contreras

Pipit, Ochre-breasted  Anthus nattereri  Found: southern South America
The Ochre-breasted Pipit has black streaked upperparts and upper-breast; whitish throat, belly.
Image by: 1) Joseph Smit  2) Claudio Timm

Pipit, Pampas  Anthus chacoensis  Found: Argentina
Similar to: Yellowish Pipit. The Pampas Piipit and Yellowish Pipit are best differentiated by song.
Image by: 1) German Prancetti

Pipit, Paramo  Anthus bogotensis  Found: Andes from Venezuela to Argentina
Image by: 1) Joseph Wolf  2) Jean-Luc Baron

Pipit, Short-billed  Anthus furcatus  Found: South America
The Short-billed Pipit has a scaly appearance to the back when in fresh plumage. The scaly look is caused by black feathers with white tips. It has a pale face with no strong facial markings; faint eye-line; strongly streaked breast, flanks.
Image by: 1) Lip Kee - Argentina  2) Graham Ekins

Pipit, Yellowish  Anthus lutescens  Found: South America
Similar to: Pampas Pipit. The Pampas Piipit and Yellowish Pipit are best differentiated by song.
Image by: 1, 2) Cláudio Timm - Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil  3) Dario Sanches

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