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Passeriformes > Motacillidae

Sprague's Pipit

Anthus spragueii

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Identification

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Buffy songbird that often stays hidden among grasses except when singing. Breeds on grassy prairies; winters in similar open habitats farther south. Difficult to spot unless flushed; usually alone or in loose flocks. Generally plain tan without many distinguishing features. Look for plain face with a big, black eye, indistinct streaks on chest, and pink legs. In flight, white outer tail feathers are visible. Does not bob tail like American Pipit. Beautiful display song given from high in the sky; sounds like a cascading waterfall of tiny pebbles. Harsh, squeaky call note is often the best way to detect them as they fly over.

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Learn more about Sprague's Pipit from…

All About Birds

Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Birds of North America

Comprehensive life histories of North American breeding birds

Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America