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24

Australasian Pipit

(Anthus novaeseelandiae)
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 Australasian 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"

Frontal view of an Australasian Pipit on the ground
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

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

Near-frontal view of an Australasian Pipit on the ground
[Copeton Waters State Park, NSW, September 2008]

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

Near-frontal view of a male Australasian Pipit on the ground; this is the bird whose territorial calls were recorded on 10 September 2016
[Eulah Creek, NSW, September 2016]

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

Lateral view of an Australasian Pipit on the ground
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

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

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

Dorsal view of an Australasian Pipit on the ground
[Crescent Head, NSW, October 2013]

Dorsal view of an Australasian Pipit
[Goran Lake, NSW, November 2011]

Australasian Pipit now with its head turned
[Goran Lake, NSW, November 2011]

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

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

This Australasian Pipit was observed where calls were recorded on 10 and 11 April 2014
[Eulah Creek, NSW, April 2014]

Race "bilbali"

Lateral view of an Australasian 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]

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

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

Race "bistriatus"

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

Behaviour

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

Australasian 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.

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

Australasian Pipits are amongst the first land-based bird species to reclaim land when, e.g., an ephemeral lake dries up
[Goran Lake, NSW, May 2013]

Australasian Pipits are amongst the first land-based bird species to reclaim land when, e.g., an ephemeral lake dries up
[Goran Lake, NSW, May 2013]

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

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

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

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

Food, Diet

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

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

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_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.