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24

Australian Pipit

(Anthus australis)
Alternate name(s): "Ground-lark", "Richard's Pipit"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "bilbali": "eroldel", "warradjolon", "beriberit" (WA)

Size: 16-20 cm; wing span 29-33 cm
Weight: 25-36 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Australian Pipit at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "australis"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an Australian Pipit
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Frontal view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Near Emerald, QLD, August 2019]

Near-frontal view of an Australian Pipit
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Near-lateral view of an Australian Pipit on the ground
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Fraser Island, QLD, September 2018]

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit on red soil; everything, including birds, seems to be a bit more reddish in the red centre (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Boolardy Station, Murchison, WA, August 2016]

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit on a farm on black soil
[Near Bellata, NSW, September 2011]

This Australian Pipit is having a good look around
[Near Bellata, NSW, September 2011]

Near-dorsal view of an Australian Pipit
[Lake Bindegolly NP, near Thargomindah, QLD, June 2019]

Near-dorsal view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Near-dorsal view of an Australian Pipit
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Dorsal view of an Australian Pipit
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Although technically bad, this photo shows the underside of an Australian Pipit just after takeoff, revealing the characteristic brown head and neck, creamy front and dark tail
[Near Old Bar, NSW, June 2011]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a juvenile Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay South, East Gippsland, VIC, January 2014]

Near-frontal view of a juvenile Australian Pipit; note the dark centres of the feathers (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Fraser Island, QLD, September 2018]

Close-up lateral view of a juvenile Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Fraser Island, QLD, September 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile Australian Pipit
[Goran Lake, NSW, November 2011]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile Australian Pipit
[Goran Lake, NSW, November 2011]

Near-dorsal view of a juvenile Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Fraser Island, QLD, September 2018]

Race "bilbali"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Near-dorsal view of an Australian Pipit on the ground (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Albany, WA, January 2015]

Dorsal view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Margaret River, WA, April 2019]

Dorsal view of an Australian Pipit on the ground (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Albany, WA, January 2015]

Race "bistriatus"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit on the ground (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Lake Pedder, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers NP, TAS, March 2015]

Race "rogersi"

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Karumba, QLD, September 2019]

Frontal view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Karumba, QLD, September 2019]

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Karumba, QLD, September 2019]

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, February 2018]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Solitary/pair

Australian Pipits are often found on the barest patches of earth to be found - sealed roads, dirt roads, trodden-down paddocks or gravel. The colours of their plumage provide them with camouflage to survive in such open terrain. Outside the breeding season they can also be found in groups of up to roughly 10 birds.

Have you ever seen such a tiny speck on the road ahead of you? If yes, in Australia it is likely to be an Australian Pipit - click on the image to see the complete picture (the photo was taken with a 250-mm telelens!)
[Near Cryon, NSW, October 2010]

Australian Pipits are amongst the first explorers to reclaim land when, e.g., an ephemeral lake dries up
[Goran Lake, NSW, May 2013]

Australian Pipits are amongst the first explorers to reclaim land when, e.g., an ephemeral lake dries up
[Goran Lake, NSW, May 2013]

Australian Pipit on a dirt road
[Goran Lake, NSW, July 2013]

Australian Pipit using a rock as its lookout; this is the bird calls were recorded on 21 December 2014
[Near Maules Creek, NSW, December 2014]

Australian Pipit on a dune with Spinifex grass
[Old Bar, NSW, July 2013]

Dorsal view of an Australian Pipit on a coastal cliff
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Australian Pipit taking a dust bath (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Common, Brisbane, QLD, June 2017]

Food, Diet

To the best of our knowledge Australian Pipits feed on seeds and invertebrates like earthworms, but the fact that they are often found on sealed roads may indicate that they take dead insects as well.

Lateral view of an Australian Pipit with its prey, an earth worm (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, February 2018]

An Australian Pipit has found some food on a dune with Spinifex grass
[Old Bar, NSW, July 2013]

Australian Pipit carrying food, possibly for a brood it was feeding at the time (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Common, Brisbane, QLD, September 2017]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

ozpipit_20141220.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Contact calls © MD
ozpipit_20140411.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Contact calls? (in-flight) © MD
ozpipit_20181130.m4a australis
(NW NSW)
Territorial call © MD
ozpipit_20160910_3.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Territorial calls © MD
ozpipit_20160910_5.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Territorial calls (display flight) © MD
ozpipit_20160910_4.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Territorial calls (display flight) © MD
ozpipit_20141220_2.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Warning/departure call © MD
ozpipit_20140410.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Annoyed (in-flight) © MD
ozpipit_20140509.mp3 australis
(NW NSW)
Territorial song? (pre-dawn) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.