Pipit AMc-1 - History

Pipit AMc-1 - History

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(AMc-l: dp. 210; 1. 83'11"; b. 22'6"; s. 10 k.; a. 2 .30 eel.
mg.; cl. Pipit)

The first Pipit (AMc-l) was built as Spartan in 1936 by Martinolieh Shipyard, Tacoma, Wash., acquired by the Navy at San Diego, Calif., 18 October 1940, by purchase from Mr. Anton Sumic; conversion by Wilmington Boat Works, San Pedro, Calif. completed 22 March 1941; and placed in service 28 March 1941.

Assigned to the 15th Naval District, Pipit departed San Diego, Calif., 10 May 1941. She arrived and reported for duty in the Panama Canal Zone 22 May 1941. From then until August 1944, Pipit performed coastal minesweeping duties for the Panamanian Sea Frontier.

Following departure from Balboa, Canal Zone, Pipit arrived at San Diego Calif., 26 August 1944. Placed out of service 6 Octoher l9i4, she was struck from the Naval List 22 December 1944 and returned to her owner by the War Shipping Administration.

Pipit (AM-420) was named on 17 May 1945, but construction of this Admirable class minesweeper was cancelled 11 August 1945.

Pipit AMc-1 - History

Published by the Smithsonian Institution between the 1920s and the 1950s, the Bent life history series of monographs provide an often colorful description of the birds of North America. Arthur Cleveland Bent was the lead author for the series. The Bent series is a great resource and often includes quotes from early American Ornithologists, including Audubon, Townsend, Wilson, Sutton and many others.

Bent Life History for the Sprague's Pipit - the common name and sub-species reflect the nomenclature in use at the time the description was written.

Sprague's pipit, or the Missouri skylark, was discovered by Audubon on the Upper Missouri and named for one of his companions, Isaac Sprague, who shot the first specimen near Fort Union on June 19, 1843. Audubon (1844) described and figured it near the end of his great work, and remarks: "On several occasions my friend Edward Harris sought for these birds on the ground, deceived by the sound of their music, appearing as if issuing from the prairies which they constantly inhabit and after having traveled to many distant places on the prairie, we at last looked upwards, and there saw several of these beautiful creatures singing in a continuous manner, and soaring at such an elevation, as to render them more or less difficult to discover with the eye, and at times some of them actually disappearing from our sight, in the clear thin air of that country."

Audubon's type specimen remained unique until Captain Blakiston,

16 years later, found this species to be quite common on the plains of Saskatchewan and published an account of it in The Ibis for 1863.

One of his specimens and Audubon's type were deposited in the Smithsonian Institution. These two specimens were the only ones known to Dr. Coues (1874) until he discovered it while on the survey of the international boundary in 1873, of which he wrote at that time: "It is one of the more abundant birds of all the region along the forty-ninth parallel of latitude, from just west of the Pembina Mountains to as far as the survey progressed this year: about four hundred miles I had no difficulty in taking as many specimens as I desired. They were particularly numerous at various points along the Souris or Mouse River, where, during our marches or while we were encamped, they were almost continually hovering about us."

The 1931 Check-list gives its breeding range as "from west-central Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba south to western Montana and North Dakota," but it has been reported in recent years as breeding in some localities outside of this range. In 1942, A. P. Henderson told me that Sprague's pipit was then "a rather scarce breeder at Belvedere," Alberta. About the same time, Frank L. Parley, of Camrose, wrote to me: "This splendid aerial songster is a regular summer resident of the open prairies of central Alberta, and in recent years it has appeared in fair numbers in scattered parkland areas that have been cleared and brought under cultivation. It also delights in the open, short-grass plains that surround many of our alkaline lakes and sloughs. The most northerly point at which I have found this pipit was on the south side of Lesser Slave Lake, approximately in latitude 550 N., where a pair was undoubtedly nesting."

Dr. Thomas S. Roberts (1932) states that Sprague's pipit "was once a nesting bird in the southwestern and westcentral parts of Minnesota, but the breaking up of the prairies probably caused it to leave that region many years ago." It is now probably restricted in that State to the Red River Valley, in the northern half of the western border. Dr. Roberts visited that valley in 1928 and says that "it was something of a surprise to find that Sprague's Pipit was one of the common birds of the Valley, its tinkling song being heard high overhead everywhere."

An interesting Michigan record is published by Trautman and Van Tyne (1935), who collected a singing male in Crawford County on June '26, 1935: "On the three days it was observed the bird occupied a territory about a quarter of a mile square of barreut 'jack pine plain,' sparsely covered with coarse grasses, sweet fern, and a few small pine and oak saplings."

This habitat, if I understand it correctly, seems to be quite different from the normal haunts of the species, such as the open prairies and the short-grass, rolling plains of Saskatchewan where we found it. Perhaps, with the gradmil breaking up and cultivation, as well as the extensive burning, of the virgin prairies, which is rapidly reducing tim ranges of all the prairie birds, Sprague's pipit, like the upland plover, is learning to adapt itself to the next-best type of country, such as the above and the parkland areas mentioned by Mr. Parley. When I visited the prairies around Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, in 1915, I found that the grassy plains had been thoroughly burned over to improve them for grazing purposes the long-billed curlew, formerly abundant there, had entirely disappeared, and the beautiful little chestnut-collared longspurs were nearly gone. The prairies and their fascinating bird life will soon be merely a delightful memory! Sprague's pipit, therefore, is probably disappearing from most of its former habitat. William Youngworth, of Sioux City, Iowa, tells me that he spent a few days during the summer of 1939 near Cando, N. Dak., to learn something about this pipit. He says that, although Dr. Roberts (1932) found it so common in the Red River Valley a few years ago, it is not common any more. "One can drive now for hundreds of miles in North and South Dakota and never hear or see a pipit."

Nesting: Frank L. Farley says in his notes: "For years I tried to find the nest of this bird by careful searching but was never successful. Later, however, I stumbled onto several nests by accident. A few years ago, when sitting in my car on the large open flat on my farm on Dried Meat Lake, my attention was directed to the songs of several of the pipits that xvere soaring and singing some hundreds of feet above me. It looked up and, just as my eye met one of them, the bird instantly started its downward plunge to earth. On reaching a point about 20 feet from the ground, its mate flew out to meet it. My suspicion that the female had just left its nest was correct as, on going over to where I had first seen it, I had no trouble in locating the nest with five eggs. It is quite probable that further investigation might prove that this meeting of the birds in the air just above their nest is a regular habit."

Audubon (1844) was the first to discover the nest of Sprague's Missouri lark, as he called it the nest, he says, "is placed on the ground and somewhat sunk in it. It is made entirely of fine grasses, circularly arranged, without any lining whatever."

Dr. J. A. Allen (1874) seems to have been the next to find the nest, of which he says: "The only one found by me was arched over, and being placed in a tuft of rank grass was most thoroughly concealed. The bird would seem to be a close sitter, as in this case the female remained on the nest till I actually stepped over it, she brushing against my feet as she flew off."

Several others have described the simple nests of Sprague's pipit, but the nests are not essentially different from those described above. The most elaborate account of the nesting life of this pipit is furnished by R. D. Harris (1933), xvho found a nest near Winnipeg, Manitoba, on August 24, 1931, after the young had hatched. The nest was placed on the shoulder of a grass-grown roadway across a pasture field, in a hollow made in muddy weather by passing cattle. Mr. Harris writes: In a cavity thus formed the nest was placed. Being six inches deep and six inches in diameter, the cavity was much too large for the purpose. The birds had met the situation, however, by filling in the unwanted space to a depth of three inches with dead grass, thus forming a kind of platform beside the nest which undoubtedly was found useful during nesting operations. The nest proper was composed of dried grasses two to six inches long. Unlike the filling, it was packed and woven into a firm structure. The rim was placed level with the filling three inches from the bottom, arid the interior measured (after the young had left) three inches in diameter and about one and one half inches deep. It occupied the position farthest from the entrance, with one side resting against the earth wall of the cavity. Overhead, the nest was shielded by a frail roof of dead grass anchored in the plants that stood at the edge of the depression. The entrance hole was barely more than two inches in diameter, and as the grnss filling was interposed between it and the nest, the latter could he seen only from a very low angle. This arrangement thus aided concealment.

Eggs: The set of eggs seems to consist generally of either four or five rarely a set of six is laid reported sets of three are probably incomplete. The five eggs found by Dr. Allen (1874) "were rather long and pointed, being 0.90 of an inch in length by 0.60 in diameter. The ground color is dull grayish white, thickly and quite uniformly covered with shall blotches of purplish brown, giving to the eggs a decidedly dark purplish tint. In color the eggs t.hus somewhat resemble those of Aiithws ludovicianus."

The Macouns (1909) quote Walter Raine as saying that "they are something like eggs of the prairie horned lark but are smaller. Some have a pale buff ground, others greyish-white ground, minutely speckled with buff and purplish grey. The eggs can be easily told from small prairie horned lark's eggs by the fine dark brown lines at the largest end of the eggs."

There is a set of four eggs in the Thayer collection in Cambridge. These are ovate and only slightly glossy the ground color is grayish white and they are evenly sl)rinkled over the entire surface with small spots and fine dots of pale olive-brown.

The measurements of 44 eggs average 20.9 by 15.3 millimeters the cggs showing the four extremes measure 22.6 by 15.7, 21.0 by 16.7, 19.2 by 14.0, and 20.5 by 13.5 millimeters.

Young: The incubation period for Sprague's pipit does not seem to have been learned. Mr. Harris (1933) found that the female did all the brooding over the young probably she assumed all the duties of incubation also. The young that he watched remained in the nest for at least 10 or 11 days:

The work of caring for the young in the nest appeared to be assumed entirely by the female. The male was never observed to take part in it. Indeed, the male was detected near the nest only twice, and en both these occasions the female drove it away. The male had ceased its singing rather abruptly about the beginning of August, and was not heard during the course of this nesting. On August 24, the day the nest was found, it was seen with one well-grown young bird, which was presumed to be of the first brood. From this it was concluded that, as in many other species, the male takes charge of the young after they leave the nest while the female proceeds to build another nest and lny the next set of eggs. The young birds of the first nest were noted with the male as late as August 28, but they were doubtless independent of their parents by that time.

The day after the nest was found, Mr. Harris set up his blind 2½ feet from the nest, and the next day lie entered it for observation. The bird was shy at first but soon became accustomed to the blind and even the man in it. The birds were supposed to have hatched on or about August 20 or 21 and xvere watched off and on up to the time that they left the nest on the 31st. The results of his observations on the development of the young are given in too much detail to be included here only a few points can be mentioned. When the nest was found, on the 24th, be estimated that the young were 3 or 4 days old their eyelids were separated but incapable of movement they kept huddled together in the nest and the sense of fear had not developed a small wingless grasshopper was fed to one of them.

On the 26th, when the blind was occupied for the first time, one of the parents "kept arriving at the nest with food at an average rate of once every four and a half minutes throughout the three hours that I remained in the blind. This bird was presumed to be the female. The other one could be heard circling overhead, uttering the typical pipit 'squi-qui-quicle', for fifteen minutes after Iliad entered the blind, thereafter it was silent."

On the 26th, when the young had been hatchcd 5 or 6 days, "down was becoming scanty, and the juvenal plumage was quickly supplanting it. * * * The parent did not brood either on this occasion or at later times. * * * The parent maintained sanitation in the nest by carrying away the faeces in its bill and probably dropping them while iii flight. If, however, there were two sacs in the nest at once, one was eaten and the other was carried away. Small sacs were usually eaten." On August 27 and 28, "heavy rains fell, accompanied by strong wind and low temperatures. When examined on the latter day, the birds appeared unharmed by the severe drenching they had received. Their eyes at this date were fully open." During the next two days, the young becanie increasingly more active and restless and on the 31st the young left the nest. Three had already left when Mr. Harris entered the blind at 10 A. M. dun ug the next two hours, the parent came without food several times, as if trying to entice the remaining two young to leave.

Finally, at 12.18, one of the two suddenly scrambled out of the nest and crawled away into the grass, boring forward with its bill and picking its way round the thick clumps. After progressing for about three feet, it squatted down to rest. Here the adult, with a grasshopper in its bill, came upon it and fed it. The young one then moved on for another two feet before resting again. At this point the remaining bird left the nest, arid the two were now caught and examined for the last time. * * * The young birds were now very active, and they seized in a flash any opportunity to escape. Although they exerted a remarkable strength at times, they soon became exhausted and were forced to rest frequently. They had as yet found no use for their wings, save as additional limbs with which to balance themselves. Even when the birds escaped from my hand and dropped to the ground, their wings hung limp at their sides. Legs and feet were strong, but the birds could not yet stand upright. * * * Once the young were out of the nest, the adults changed their attitude completely, reverting to their former secretive habits. They were now almost wholly silent. All flying necessary in the care of the young was done unobtrusively low over the grass. * * * Although the area round the nest

vas searched diligently, it was not until September 10 that the young birds were again seen. On thnt date, two of them were hushed from the grass about 100 feet from the nest. One flew for some 200 feet, and the other for 100 feet, before they returned to the ground. A faint sqaicA

' was uttered by one of them. They had grown amazingly, and were comparable in size and actions to their parents.

Plumages: Mr. Harris (1933) describes the natal down as "light grey in colour, long and dense on head, 3 to 10 mm. long, beginning in two rows close together on forehead but diverging gradually to pass over tops of eyeballs on occiput, in two small clumps 10 mm. long, one on each side about 10 mm. on scapular region, between elbow and wrist, and on spinal tract: two short clumps on crural tract one tuft on each side of caudal tract." At the time of nestleaving, down was still "remaining only on sides of crown, on back and on secondary coverts." He gives a detailed account of the juvenal plumage at this age, to which the reader is referred. The following briefer description by Ridgway (1904) seems more suitable for this work: "Pileum broadly streaked with black and pale buff, the former predominating scapulars and interscal)ulars black edged with buff and conspicuously margined terminally with white rump similarly marked, but terminal margins to feathers buff instead of white wings and tail as in adults, but whitish or pale buffy terminal margins to middle and greater wing-coverts broader and more sharply defined under parts as in adults, but white of chin and throat more strongly contrasted with the pale buff or chest, etc."

A postjuvenal molt, involving the contour plumage but not the wings or the tail, occurs in August and Septelnber. This produces a firstwinter plumage practically indistinguishable from the winter plumage of the adult. The winter plumage of both young and old birds is more strongly tinged with buff everywhere than is tbe spring plumage the breast, sides, and flanks, especially, are strongly suffused with deep, rich buff in fall. March specimens are generally in badly worn plumage, and April birds show much fresh plumage about the head and breast, indicating a partial prenuptial molt. The complete postnuptial molt occurs in August and September. The sexes are alike in all plumages.

Food: Very little seems to have been published on the food of Sprague's pipit. Dr. Gabrielson (1924) examined 11 stomachs and found that 2 were filled with seeds of spurge and goatweed 6 contained grasshoppers and crickets, 75 percent and the remainder of the food consisted of Hymenoptera, mostly ants, Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and caterpillars. Mrs. Nice (1931) mentions weevils, stink bugs, and false chinch bugs.

During a period of 8 hours Mr. Harris (1933) saw the parent bird make 91 trips to the nest with food for the young. In 21 cases the food was not identified of the remaining 70 trips, 7 were made with crickets, 4 with moths, and 59 with grasshoppers. "Crickets and moths were brought one at a time, while grasshoppers were brought at an average rate of 1.58 per trip."

Behavior: Sprague's pipit is a fascinating but very elusive bird. We overlooked it in North Dakota and during our first season in Saskatchewan, probably because we did not know where and how to look for it or realize the difficulty of seeing or even hearing it. But, on the plains of southwestern Saskatchewan, thanks to Dr. Bishop's keen ears, we found it really quite common in 1906, though more frequently heard than seen. The males spend much of their time way up in the sky, almost out of sight it is only occasionally that one can be seen, as a mere speck against some white cloud against the blue sky it is almost invisible. When it comes down to the ground, as it does at long intervals, it is very shy and difficult to approach, flying off to a great distance in long, bounding, erratic flights. We succeeded in collecting very few birds, although we spent considerable time in fruitless chasing. I secured only one, shot on the wing at long range.

Dr. Roberts (1932) says of its behavior:

Sprague's Pipit is a bird that may easily be overlooked. It should be looked for high overhead rather than on the ground. In the nesting-season the characteristic song of the male, floating down from far up in the sky, is the surest indication of its presence. The performer may not be easy to locate, but the song can belong to no other bird. On the ground it disappears completely in the prairie grass, walks or runs nimbly away without showing itself and, if flushed, flies quickly off, appearing much like a Vesper Sparrow. When It springs into the air and mounts higher and higher in ascending circles to deliver its nuptial song and then plunges directly to earth again, it may be mistaken for a Horned Lark by the casual observer. The performance is just the same, but the bird usually goes higher, stays up much longer, and the song is different. A good glass may show the large amount of white in the tail and the absence of black markings on the head and breast. If a glimpse be had of the bird after it alights on the ground, it will be seen to walk in the manner of ihe Horned Lark but with a more dainty, lighter step. The ordinary flight of the Pipit is sharply undulatory and erratic, a series of dips and upward springs, now this way and now that. When startled from the grass it goes off in this manner and at the end of the flight turns suddenly back

vard in its course and drops abruptly to concealment again. It rarely, if ever, alights except on the ground. Its behavior in these respects is characteristic enough to distinguish it among the other prairie birds with which it is associated.

As to its behavior about tile nest, Mr. Harris (1933) discovered that: the female used a definite route in catering and in departing from the nest. After securing food from an adjoining patch of open grass, it would fly low over the ground directly to about six feet north-west of the nest. Here it would alight and walk along a curving path to enter the nest finally from the south. On leaving, the bird would stand for a few moments on the edge of the depression to watch and listen. Thea it would move directly west for ahout two feet: crossing its path of approach: and again pause at another 'listening post." From here it would mount into the air and fly off in search of more food. The path used was always the same, and once known, it could just he discerned because of Its slightly trodden appearance. Rarely did the bird depart from the nest without first standing for several minutes at both "listening posts." At these times, the bird's ear coverts were frequently seen to be raised slightly, showing how keenly alert it was. Preening occasionally took place at these intervals also.

In August, after all the broods are on the wing, and through September, 1 have seen it In considerable flocks and often, when riding along the prairie road, numbers would fly up at my approach, from the ruts ahead, where they were feeding, to settle again at a little distance further on. These wheel tracks, where the grass was worn away, seemed to be their favorite resorts, where they could run with the greatest ease, and perhaps gather food less easily discovered in the thick grass. They tripped along the tracks with swift and dainty steps, never hopping, and continually vihrating the tail, just like our common Titlark. They were usually associated at such times with numbers of Chestnut-colored Lark-huatings, which seemed to fancy the same places, and with a few Baird's Buntings. These were the only circumstances under which the Larks could be procured without the great quickness and dexterity required to take them on the xving for the moment they alight in the grass of the prairie, be it scanty or only a few inches high, they are lost to view, their speckled-gray colors blending completely with the herbage.

Voice: The marvelous flight song of Sprague's pipit has been referred to above. It is one of its most striking characteristics and quite different from the flight songs of other birds. Aretas A. Saunders says, in part, in his notes: "As it flies around, its flight rises and falls. Each time it rises the bird sings when it falls, he is silent. So the song is heard at intervals as the bird flies about its circle. The song consists of a series of 2-note phrases, each phrase with the first note of the two higher in pitch and each phrase beginning on a little lower pitch than the previous one. I once measured the drop in pitch of a particular singer and found that it was half a tone less than an octave and that the bird sang seven 2-note phrases. But, knowing the amount of variation that exists in the songs of most species, I would not be sure that this song was typical. The song is clear, sweet, and musical but, perhaps because of the distance, sounds rather weak. In some localities choruses of these birds may be heard and, to the lover of bird music, the effect is exceedingly pleasing.

Dr. Roberts (1932) gives a very good description of the song, quoted from some notes of 11. W. Gleason, as follows:

At first could be beard three or four sharp "chips" with very decided intervals, followed by a musical repetition of blended, very high-pitched notes souading like the jingling of a set of tiny sleigh-bells. The accented notes came in regular beats or throbs and gradually diminished in volume until lost to the ear, resembling a very high, fine Veery song but lacking the inflection and given a little slower. The birds being at such a great elevation while singing made it difficult to determine the coordination of the song and flight. It seemed, however, to begin during a short sail on set wings, followed by an ascent in short flights like the Horned Lark, during which came the throbbing part of the song. During the sail the tail was snread and the wings upcurved like those of a singing Bobolink. The song was repeated at short intervals for a period of 15 to 25 minutes as the bird drifted around in wide circles. At the end it descended like a plummet, spreading its wings when almost to the ground and alighting like a Horned Lark. With the aid of a crude triangle and an assistant several rough estimates were made of the height at which the bird sang, which varied from 210 to 325 feet, with a minimum record of 110 feet during a misty rain. It would appear that the average singing height is about 300 feet.

Dr. Allen (1874) says: "Their notes resemble the syllables jingle, jingle, jingle, jingle, rapidly repeated, beginning loud and high, and decreasing rapidly in strength and loudness, and are remarkable for their clear metallic ring, their song reminding one of the jingling sound of a light chain when slowly let fall into a coil."

Dr. Coues (1874) gives the following appreciation of the song: "No other bird music beard in our land compares with the wonderful strains of this songster there is something not of earth in the melody, coming from above, yet from no visible source. The notes are simply indescribable but once heard they can never be forgotten. Their volume and penetration are truly wonderful they are neither loud nor strong, yet the whole air seems filled with the tender strains, and delightful melody continues long unbroken. The song is only heard for a brief period in the summer, ceasing when the inspiration of the love season is over, and it is only uttered when the birds are soaring."

Ernest Thompson Seton (1891) writes:

On May 14, I watched a skylark that was singing on high with great devotion he had trilled his refrain from beginning to end at least twenty times when it occurred to me to time and count his songs. The whole of each trilling occupied 15 seconds, and after I began to count he repeated it from beginning to end 82 times just as he should have entered on the eighty-third, his wings closed, his tail went up, and down he fell headlong. * * * This singer had serenaded me for about an hour, and I do not think he ranked above his fellows in staying po

ver. * * * When the skylark feels the impulse to sing, he rises from the bare prairie ridge with a peculiar bounding flight, like that of the pipit up, in silence, higher and higher he goes, up, up, 100, 200, 300, 500 feet then, feeling his spirits correspondingly elevated, he spreads his wings and tail and pours forth the strains that are making him famous. * * * Once only have I observed this species singing his full song on the ground.

Singing on the ground is evidently seldom indulged in by Sprague's pipit most observers have never heard it do so but Trautman and Van Tyne (1935) "on several occasions" in Michigan heard this pipit "sing from the ground and once" they "watched it sing from the top of a small telephone pole. These songs, while identical in pattern with the flight songs, were much less loud and clear."

Field marks: Sprague's pipit is not easily recognized. Its shyness and its secretive habits when on the ground make it difficult to approach. It has no distinctive and conspicuous field marks except its two pairs of white outer tail feathers, which show only in flight and are shared by some other birds with which it is likely to be associated. It is often associated with vesper sparrows, which have about the same amount of .white in the tail the pipit is a slender bird with a sharp-pointed bill, and it walks or runs whereas the sparrow is a stockier bird, has a short, conical bill, and it hops instead of walking. The horned lark, one of its frequent companions, also walks, but it has less white in the tail, is not so slender, and has conspicuous black markings on head and breast. The horned lark has a somewhat similar flight song, but, with a good glass, its head and breast markings can be seen. Sprague's pipit closely resembles the American pipit in form and behavior, but it is lighter in coloration and more buffy, less grayish.

Fall: After the breeding season is over and the young are strong on the wing, these pipits gather into flocks, sometimes of immense size, mingled with horned larks and longspurs, and drift slowly southward to spend the winter close to our southern border, or farther south in Mexico.

Range: Interior of North America from southern Canada to southern Mexico.

Breeding range: Sprague's pipit breeds north to central Alberta (Edmonton and Athabaska) central Saskatchewan (Prince Albert and Quill Lake) and southern Manitoba (Aweme, Shoal Lake, and Hillside Beach on southern Lake Winnipeg). East to southeastern Manitoba (Hillside Beach and Winnipeg) and western Minnesota (Muskoda and northern Wilkin County). South to central western Minnesota (northern Wilkin County) northern South Dakota (Grand River Agency, nort.hern Stanley County, and Harding County) and central Montana (Lewistown and the Belt Mountains). West to western Montana east of the Rocky Mountains (Belt Mountains, Great Falls, Teton County, and Browning) and west-central Alberta (Red Deer River east of Banif National Park and Edmonton).

Winter range: Sprague's pipit winters north to central Texas (San Angelo, Dallas, and Corsicana) southern Louisiana (Lobdell and Mandeville) and southern Mississippi (Biloxi). South to southern Mississippi (Biloxi) southern Louisiana (New Orleans, Avery Island, and Jennings) southern Texas (Galveston, Port O'Connor, Corpus Christi, and Brownsville) through eastern Mexico to Vera cruz (Veracruz), Puebla (Puebla), and Guerrero (Iguala). West to Guerrero (Iguala) Michoac

n (La Salada) and central Texas (Laredo and San Angelo). In fall and winter it has also oc curred near Charleston, S. C. Cuniberland Island, Ga. and Lake Miccosukee, Lukens, Lake Tohopekaliga, and Charlotte Harbor, Fla.

Migration: Late dates of spring departure are: Louisiana: New Orleans, April 19. Texas: Gainesville, April 14. Kansas: Stockton, April 26. Nebraska: Lincoln, April 26.

Early dates of spring arrival are: Oklahoma: Caddo, February 18. Missouri: Kansas City, March 20. South Dakota: Vermillion, April 14. North Dakota: Jamestown, April 29. Minnesota: Muskoda, April 27. Manitoba: Aweme, April 8. Wyoming: Laramie, April 17. Montana: Great Falls, April 23. Saskatchewan: Eastend, April 7. Alberta: Alliance, May 2.

Late dates of fall departure are: Alberta: Edmonton, September 30. Saskatchewan: Eastend, October 10. Montana: Fallon, September 19. Wyoming: Laramie, September 20. Manitoba: Margaret, October 20. South Dakota: Forestburg, October 30.

Early dates of fall arrival are: Nebraska: Monroe Canyon, Sioux County, October 1. Oklahoma: Kenton, October 2. Texas: High Island, October 31. Louisiana: Lobdell, November 5.

Casual records: On April 4, 1905, a specimen was collected at Fort Lowell, Ariz. it was recorded in Yellowstone Park, Wyo., on July 10, 1929. One was present June 21 to 26, 1935, near Lovells, Crawford County, Mich., and was collected on the latter (late.

Egg dates: North Dakota: 3 records, June 7 to 30. Saskatchewan: 5 records, May 19 to June 28.

Anthus rubescens (Tunstall, 1771)

(Motacillidae Meadow Pipit A. pratensis) L. anthus small bird that inhabited grasslands mentioned by Pliny, not further identified, but probably the Yellow Wagtail < Gr. ανθος anthos small, brightly coloured bird mentioned by Aristotle. In Gr. myth. Anthus, son of Antinous and Hippodamia, was killed by his father’s horses and metamorphosed into a bird which imitated the neighing of horses but fled at their sight "47. Pieper. Anthus. Ich rechne zu dieser neuen Gattung vier Arten. . Das was Frisch in der Naturgeschichte von No. III. von der Greuthlerche erzählt, gehört eigentlich zur Pieplerche (Alauda trivialis), die er Wiesenlerche nennt. Das aber, was er von der Wiesenlerche No. IV. sagt, paßt nur auf die Brachlerche (Alauda campestris). Das, was er von felner Pieplerche sagt, hat zwar seine Richtigkeit, allein die Ueberschrift ist falsch, und sollte eigentlich Wiesenlerche (Alauda pratensis) heißen *). . *) Diese Vögel, nämlich die Brach- Piep- und Wiesenlerche haben zu vielen Irrthümern in den naturhistorischen Schriften Anlaß gegeben. Ich habe mich selbst irre führen lassen. Ich habe daher für dieselben, da sie zu auffallend von den Lerchen abweichen, eine besondere Gattung, die ich Anthus nenne, gebildet. . 161. Die Brachlerche oder der Brachpieper. Alauda campestris. L. Taf. 15. Fig. 2. b. (Anthus campestris, mihi." (Bechstein 1805) "Anthus Bechstein, Gemein. Naturg. Deutschl. ii, pp. 247, 302, 1805. Type by subsequent designation of Mathews (Austral Av. Rec. ii, p. 123, 1918), Alauda campestris. . This genus until recently has been quoted from Bechstein's third volume, p. 704, 1807, and the type designated by Gray in 1840 as A. spinoletta. Under the earlier citation of Anthus, here quoted, the Water-Pipit is not mentioned, so that it cannot under the Rules be designated as the type of the genus. The three species which are mentioned by Bechstein are A. campestris, A. trivialis, and A. pratensis. Sharpe, in Cat. Bds. Brit. Mus. x, p. 534, 1885, designated A. trivialis, but did not quote the earlier reference to Bechstein. Mathews subsequently therefore (Austral Av. Rec. ii, p. 123, 1918) designated A. campestris, which is here accepted as the type." (W. Sclater, 1930, Syst. Av. Aethiop., II, 340) "Anthus Bechstein, 1805, Gemein. Nat. Deutschl., 2, p. 247, 302, 465. Type, by subsequent designation, Alauda pratensis Linnaeus (Selby, 1825, Illust. Brit. Orn., p. xxix)." (Vaurie in Peters, 1960, IX, p. 144).
Var. Arthur, Artthus.
Synon. Afranthus, Agrodroma, Anomalanthana, Anomalanthus, Austranthus, Caffranthus, Cichlops, Cinaedium, Corydalla, Dendronanthus, Heterura, Leimoniptera, Meganthus, Megistina, Neocorys, Notiocorys, Oreocorys, Pediocorys, Petranthus, Pipastes, Rhabdochlamys, Seiren, Spipola, Xanthocorys.

L. rubescens, rubescentis reddish, blushed < rubescere to become reddish < ruber ruddy, red.
● ex &ldquoLark from Pensilvania&rdquo of Edwards 1760, and &ldquoRed Lark&rdquo of Pennant 1768 (Anthus).
● ex "Kokuh" of Krusenstern 1814 (Pampusana).

There are 40 census records available for the last name Pipit. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Pipit census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 4 immigration records available for the last name Pipit. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 2 military records available for the last name Pipit. For the veterans among your Pipit ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 40 census records available for the last name Pipit. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Pipit census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 4 immigration records available for the last name Pipit. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 2 military records available for the last name Pipit. For the veterans among your Pipit ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

Pipit AMc-1 - History

The pipit, apparently a frail but really a hardy bird, seeks its summer home in regions that would seem to us most unattractive and forbidding, among the moss-covered, rocky hills on the bleak coast of Labrador, along the Arctic tundra to northern Alaska, up to 700 on the west coast of Greenland, and then far southward in the Rocky Mountains to Colorado and New Mexico, where it breeds only above tree limits on the wind-swept mountaintops. In the far north and in Labrador it breeds on low hills not far above sea level, but in the mountains its summer haunts become gradually higher as the tree limit rises on Mount McKinley, Alaska, it breeds from 4,000 to 5,000 feet altitude, in Oregon it is recorded as breeding above 8,500 feet, in Wyoming above 11,000, in Colorado above 12,000, and in New Mexico, at the southern limit of its breeding range, we may find it above 13,000 feet.

On the Labrador coast we found pipits very common all along the coastal strip from Battle Harbor to Cape Mugford, on most of the rocky islands and on the inland hilltops above tree growth. In that region the only tree growth is found in the sheltered hollows back from the coast and in the inland valleys. Elsewhere the coastal strip is mostly bare rock, with a luxuriant growth of reindeer moss, other mosses and lichens clothing the hollows in the more sheltered places a few small shrubs and dwarfed deciduous trees struggle for existence. Insect life is abundant here during the long days of the short summer, so that the pipits have an ample food supply they seem to thrive in even the most exposed places.

Spring: The pipit, although abundant in fall, seems to avoid New England to a large extent on the spring migration, for it is comparatively rare and quite irregular here at that season. Its northward migration seems to be mainly west of the Alleghenies. This point is well illustrated in Milton B. Trautman's (1940) account of the migration at Buckeye Lake, Ohio. "The first migrating American Pipits," he says, "arrived between March 1 and 25. Flocks of moderate or large size, 15 to 500 birds, appeared to be dominant in spring, and only during the very last part of migration were groups of less than 10 birds often observed. The peak of migration occurred from the last of March until mid-April. Then it was possible to record as many as 800 individuals in a day. * * * Throughout spring the species was found principally in recently plowed fields, in wheat fields where the plants averaged less than 5 inches in height, in short-grass pastures, and on the larger mud flats about 'sky ponds' or overflow puddles."

Courtship: The song flight of the pipit is the most conspicuous part of the courtship performance. This is very well described by Joseph Dixon (1938), who observed it on Mount McKinley, as follows: "On May 20, 1926, high up among the vanishing snowfields on a rocky barren ridge at 4,000 feet, we watched a male pipit in full nuptial flight. lit perched on a rock, then flew almost vertically into the sky for a distance of from 50 to 150 feet, singing a single note which was repeated constantly. Then with legs extended, feet spread out, and tail sticking upwards at a sharp angle, this male bird sang steadily as he fluttered his wings and floated down like a falling leaf, usually landing near the place from whence he began his flight."

Dr. Charles W. Townsend (Townsend and AlIen, 1907) observed a similar flight-song in Labrador and gives the following information about it:

As he went up he sang repeatedly a simple refrain, che-wh

e with a vibratory resonance on the whde. Attaining an eminence of * * * perhaps 200 feet from the ground, he checked himself and at once began the descent He went down faster and faster, repeating his song at the same time faster and faster. Long before he reached the ground be set his wings and tipped from side to side to break his descent. After remaining quiet on the ground for a few moments he repeated the performance and we watched him go up four or five times. On one occasion he was twenty seconds going up, emitting his refrain forty-eight times. In the descent he was quicker, accomplishing It in ten seconds and singing thirty-two bars of his song.

Gayle Pickwell (1947) noticed, on Mount Rainier, Wash., that two males in the vicinity of a female "were battling violently. One of the males was on the near-by snow. The other male plunged down from above with a determination rarely to be observed in avian battIes. * * * These pipits fought on the ground as well as in the air. One stayed largely on the snow while the other dashed upon him from above and there was no denying the seriousness of their struggles."

Nesting: The two nests of the American pipit that I saw on the coast of Labrador in 1912 were probably typical of the species, in that locality at least. The first nest was shown to me on July 6, in the bare, rocky hills of Battle Island, by two of Dr. Grenfell's nurses, Miss Coates and Miss Thompkins, whom I had met in Newfoundland. The nest was very prettily located on the side of a little moss-covered ridge or hummock, in a little valley near the top of the moss- and lichencovered island it was sunk deeply into the soft mosses that overhung the entrance on the side of the little cavity the nest seemed to be made entirely of fine, dry grasses. It contained five eggs, which I did not disturb. The incubating bird was quite tame and, if quietly approached, could almost be touched on the nest.

The other nest (p1. 2) was shown me by an Eskimo, on July 21, near Hopedale. It was similarly located, near the top of a bare, rocky hill, under the overhanging edge of a moss-covered hummock it was a larger nest than the other and was made of fine twigs and coarse grasses and lined with finer grass the four eggs that it contained were nearly ready to hatch.

There is little to be said about the nests in other localities, except that they are always placed on the ground in decidedly open situations, but they are almost always more or less sheltered under some outcropping rock or projecting stones, or under the overhang of some eminence. Some dried moss may be placed in the hollow to protect the eggs against the moisture from the ground, but the nests seem to be made almost entirely of dried grasses and to have no other warm lining. A nest mentioned in some notes sent to me by 0. J. Murie was "placed in the moss at the edge of a rock, back under a willow root," Of two nests observed by Gayle Pickwell (1947), "one was in a clump of yellow heather and another beneath the leaves of a purple aster."

Eggs: The American pipit lays four to seven eggs four and five seem to be the commonest numbers. They are ovate and have very little gloss. The ground color is grayish white or dull white, sometimes buffy white, but it is often so thickly covered with the markings that it is hardly visible and the egg appears to be of a dark chocolate color, indistinctly marked with small black lines. In the less heavily marked eggs the spots are more distinct and are in various shades of bright or dull browns, from chocolate to hair brown, or in some shades of drab or gray. Sometimes these markings are concentrated into solid color at the larger end. The measurements of 50 eggs in the United States National Museum average 19.9 by 14.7 millimeters the eggs showing the four extremes measure 21.8 by 15.5, 17.8 by 14.2, and 19.8 by 13.7 millimeters.

Young: The period of incubation does not seem to have been definitely determined, but it probably does not differ materially from that of closely related European species, 13 or 14 days. According to the observations of Hazel S. Johnson (1933), at Wolf Bay, Labrador, the young leave the nest about 13 days after hatching. The brooding is done entirely by the female, but both sexes assist in feeding the young. "While in the nest the young were fed at quite regular intervals throughout the long July days. My notes show that they were fed as early as 4:30 A.

i. (I believe that feeding started even earlier) and continued as late as 8: 55 r.

i. Rain and fog did not seem to retard feeding activities of the parent birds." Her table indicates that the interval between feedings varied from 5 to 19 minutes the number of feedings for a 2-hour period varied from 5 to 19 both of these periods were late in the day. She continues:

As the female spent the greater part of her time on the nest, the male brought most of the food during the first six days. Flies nnd small larvae were the main diet. One large larva or from two to four smaller ones were brought at one time so that each trip represented a fairly constant quantity of food. * * * Sometimes one parent did nil the feeding but more often the food was divided and both fed, placing all of it in the mouth of one young bird then removing bits which they gave to others. Very rarely did the female eat any of the food brought by her mate.

After feeding both birds would look expectantly at the nest. When a mass of excreta appeared it was promptly seized and consumed or carried away. In most cases the female secured it but evidently there was some competition between the parents for this privilege. During the last few days of the nesting period excreta were carried off and the nature of its disposal is unknown.

The six young hatched on July 2 the growth of the young was uniform on July 6 pinfeathers were through the skin, and on the 11th the feathers were out of the sheaths.

They were last seen in the nest in the late afternoon of the 15th. That evening they were out of the nest but nearby. Next morning a hawk was shot near the nest site and was reported to have been attacking young birds. This may account for the fact that hut three of the brood were seen on the 17th, with the two parent birds.

Between July 16 and August 3 the family of three young with one or both parents was often seen about the woodpile and house of a local family about 300 yards from the nest site. * * * During the first two weeks out of the nest the young birds seemed to make little effort to find food for themselves hut waited until the parent birds brought food and placed it in their mouths. Sometimes the old birds would utter a twittering chirp when food was found, whereupon one or more young would go to the parent to receive it.

Plumages: Dr. Dwight (1900) describes the juvenal plumage mainly as follows: "Above, hair-brown streaked with black, the edgings of the back pale grayish wood-brown. * * * Below, creamy buff, palest anteriorly, streaked on the throat and breast rather broadly and on the sides faintly with clovebrown. Indistinct superciliary line and orbital ring buffy white auriculars wood-brown."

An incomplete postjuvenal molt, which involves the contour plumage but not the wings or the tail, occurs mainly in August. This produces a first-winter plumage, which is practically indistinguishable from that of the adult. Dr. Dwight describes this as similar to the juvenal plumage, but "darker above with less obvious streaking and deeper pinkish buff below, the streaking heavier, forming a pectoral band and extending to the flanks an immaculate pale buff chin. The superciliary line extends behind the eye as a whitish band." Ridg-way (1904) says that the young in the first autumn and winter are "similar to winter adults, but upper parts decidedly brown and superciliary stripe and under parts rather deeper brownish buff, with streaks on chest, etc., less sharply defined."

Dr. Dwight (1900) says that the first nuptial plumage is "acquired by a partial prenuptial moult, in April, involving most of the body plumage which has suffered much from wear and become darker above with the buff tints nearly lost below. The extent of the fading is surprising. The new plumage is buff tinged, but wear during the breeding season produces a black and white streaked bird, the buffs being wholly lost through fading." Ridgway (1904) says of this first nuptial plumage: "The species breeds in this plumage, which is very different from the fully adult suniuner diess, * * * upper parts grayish, as in summer adults, but superciliary stripe and under parts paler (dull pale buffy or dull buffy white) than in winter adults, the chest, sides, and flanks conspicuously streaked with dusky.".

Adults have a complete postnuptial molt late in summer, mainly in August, and a partial prenuptial molt, mainly in April, involving most of the contour plumage. Fall birds in fresh plumage are browner above and more buffy below, and spring birds are grayer above and paler below, the spring female being less grayish above, more brownish, and more heavily spotted below than the male but the two sexes are very much alike in all plumages.

Food: Forbush's (1929) account of the food seems to cover the subject quite satisfactorily, as follows:

The food of the Pipit consists largely of Insects, small molluscs and crustaceans, small seeds and wild berries. More than 77 percent of its food has been found to consist of insects, of which over 64 percent are injurious. The seeds are chiefly weed seeds and waste grain. Professor Aughey found an average of 47 locusts and 4 other insects in the stomachs of some Nebraska specimens. The Pipit takes weevils, hugs, grasshoppers, crickets, plant-lice and spiders. It renders valuable service to the cotton growers of the South by destroying boll weevils. Examination of the stomachs of 68 birds taken in cotton fields showed that half of them had eaten 120 boll weevils. Mr. A. H. Howell says that Pipits pick up weevils throughout the winter, and in the spring they follow the plowman and capture both weevils and grubs. During an outbreak of grain aphids, these destructive insects constituted more than 70 per cent of the food of a Pipit. Mr. McAtee estimated that a flock of these birds then present must have destroyed at least a million of these pests daily.

According to Preble and McAtee (1923),"this species is reported by Ifanna to feed during its stay on the [Pribilof] islands in fall migration almost exclusively on maggots on the killing fields. However, the contents of two stomachs, collected August 31, 1914, and September 20, 1916, contained no trace of such maggots. The food in these gizzards consisted of 10 per cent vegetable matter (seeds of a violet, Viola langsdort ii) and 90 percent animal matter. The components of the animal food were beetles (ground beetles, Pterostiohus sp. and weevils, Lophalophus inquinatus), 37 per cent caterpillars, 33.5 percent plant bugs (Irbisia sericans) , 8 per cent spiders, 7.5 per cent flies, 2.5 per cent and Hymenoptera, 1.5 per cent."

Dr. George F. Knowlton writes to me: "On October 5, 1942, W. B. Peay and I encountered a large flock of the American pipit, extending from the Petersboro foothills in Cache Valley to Collinston, Utah.

The birds were very abundant along the road, feeding among Russian thistle. Hundreds also were feeding in alfalfa and in the wheat stubble, many alighting in plowed fields. Eighteen were collected and an examination of their stomachs revealed: 1 thysanuran 19 collembolans 102 Homoptera, 70 being aphids (of which 14 were pea aphids) and 13 leafhoppers. Hemiptera constituted the largest group with 1,527 recognizable specimens, of which 986 were adult and 291 nyinphal false chinch bugs and 39 minds. The 133 beetles included 46 weevils of which 8 were alfalfa weevils, 1 a clover leaf weevil and 19 adult clover root curculios. Ten of the 29 1-Lymenoptera were ants most of the 14 Diptera were adults. In addition to the insects there were 8 spiders and mites, 92 seeds and a number of stomachs contained varying amounts of plant fragments."

Practically all the pipit's food is obtained on the ground, in short grass or low-growing herbage, on bare ground or open mud flats, on drifted sea wrack along the coast, and on the salt or brackish marshes along tidal streams. On its alpine breeding ground it has been seen picking up insects on the snowbanks, where they had been blown by the wind. In all such places it walks along daintily on its long legs, picking up seeds or insects from the ground or herbage, sometimes running rapidly in pursuit of an escaping insect. Mr. Cogswell writes to me: "On January 11, 1942, at Dominguez Lagoon, south of Los Angeles, I observed pipits varying their usual ground foraging procedure by perching on the branches of tall weeds growing in the shallow water and reaching for insects (?) among heads of the plants."

Mr. Trautman (1940) reports an interesting feeding reaction: "I saw some 20 individuals of this species on a peat island near the east end of Cranberry marsh. They faced a moderate breeze, and individuals from the group were flying into the air 3 or 4 feet, capturing moderate-sized flying beetles, and then dropping upon the island again. Usually 4 or 5 birds were in the air at once. The continual bobbing up and down was a strange sight, and somewhat resembled that of trout in a pool rising after insects."

Lucien M. Turner says in his unpublished notes that about the whaling stations in northern Ungava, where the carcasses of the white whales are left to rot, incredible numbers of flies are attracted and their maggots "fairly make the earth creep." Great numbers of pipits resort to these places to feast on these larvae. He also saw these birds wading in the shallow pools on the tidal flats, searching for aquatic worms and larvae.

Behavior: Pipits are essentially terrestrial birds and spend most of their time on the ground, in the fields, meadows, marshes, mud flats, beaches, or on the bare rocks of their summer haunts. Some writers have stated that they never alight anywhere else, but such is certainly not so. In Labrador we frequently saw them walking on the roofs of tilts, where codfish was drying, or alighting on the roofs of the fish houses and even on the roofs of the dwelling houses and on the rocks around them. On migrations, we of ten see them perched in trees, on wire fences or fence posts, on the ridge poles of houses, and on telephone or telegraph wires. Dr. Knowlton writes to me that, in the locality where he collected the birds referred to above, "thousands of pipits were present over an area 6 to 15 miles wide. The birds would fly ahead of the car, alighting on fence posts and fence wires near the approaching vehicle. However, when disturbed by a man walking along the road, large numbers would sometimes fly away and alight in the field at some distance from the collector. They seldom were much disturbed by the firing of a .22 rifle or a small 44x1 bird gun."

When on the ground the pipit walks gracefully and prettily, with a nodding motion of the head, like a dove, and with the body swaying slightly from side to side as he moves quietly along sometimes he runs more rapidly. His colors, soft grays and browns, match his surroundings so well, and he moves so quietly with an easy gliding motion, that before we realize that he is there he rises with a large flock of his fellows, as if exploding from nowhere, and they go flying off to some safer spot, twittering as they fly.

Francis H. Allen contributes the following note: "At one time I found the grass fairly 'swarming' with them at a fence corner, and one might have gone within two or three rods without seeing them, so closely did they creep along the ground. Here one of them stood on a large stone, spread his tail prettily, and scratched his right ear deftly with his right foot. The books seem to say that when on the ground they wag their tails constantly, but this is not literally true, for the tail is sometimes quiet as the bird walks, and extended straight behind, the whole slender bird presenting a peculiarly flat appearance as he steps daintily along. I thought that the tail was more constantly wagged when the bird was standing than when he walked."

Observers differ as to the amount of tail wagging and when it occurs, but the pipit belongs to the wagtail family and must indulge in a certain amount of it. Audubon (1841) stated that the pipit wags its tail when it stops walking Forbush (1929) says "almost constantly moving the tail" and others have referred to it as a constant habit. Probably there is some individual variation in the habit between different birds, or at different times in the same individual. Milton P. Skinner (1928) watched particularly for this habit in North Carolina and found that it was not a constant one. He noted that "their bodies and tails swung from side to side in time with each step," and says:

In every case this sidewise movement of the tail was an accompaniment of the body movement, and I did not see a single Pipit move its tall 8i40,ctse ladependently of the body. But I found there was another movement of the tail, up and down, that was sometimes made. Of one hundred and forty birds watched on January 28, 1927, some tipped their tails sip and down rapidly while walking and while resting on the ground hut many of them did not. Ten days later, I noted that only a few of these pipits moved their tails up and down, and that even these movements were noticeable only when the birds alighted after flight, and then there were only two to five movements. On March 1, 1927, I observed that when these birds stopped walking they moved their tails more or less regularly, bat the motion was not noticeable while they walked, and disappeared altogether when they ran.

The pipit's flight is buoyant and undulating, powerful and swift, but rather erratic, as if the bird were undecided where to go or to stop. A large flock of pipits in flight is an interesting sight they rise suddenly and unexpectedly from almost underfoot, those nearest first and then rank after rank progressively, as if bursting out of the earth all join into one big flock before our astonished eyes and go sweeping off in a loose, undulating bunch, some rising and some falling in a confusing mass, like so many swirling snowflakes. They swing in a wide circle over the field and back again, swoop downward as if about to alight, then off again as if undecided, and finally drop out of sight on the brown earth in the distance, or perhaps return again and settle near the spot from which they started.

Dr. Witmer Stone (1937) thus describes the actions of a large flock of pipits on a burnt-over area:

After circling in a large arc they came drifting hack and settled down near where they were before. Several times later they flushed but always returned to the burnt area. By watching exactly where they alighted I was able to detect them scattered all over the ground, about one bird to each square foot, where thickest. Their backs had a distinct olive east in the strong light but the streaks on the under parts were only seen clearly when the birds were breast on. They all walked deliberately or sometimes took half a dozen steps in rapid succession, almost a run, though less regular. They all moved in the same general direction and as I moved parallel with them I could see them pressing straight ahead through time grassy spots and between the grass tufts and the stems of the bushes that had escaped the fire. They kept their heads pretty well down on the shoulders and leaned forward, dabbing at the ground with the bill, to one stde or the other, apparently picking up scattered seeds of grasses and sedges. The tail was carried parallel with the ground or tilted up a trifle while the tips of the wings hung Just below its base. The tail moved a little as the bird advanced but there was no distinct tilting as in the Palm Warbler or the Water-Thrush.

Voice: The American pipit is not a gifted songster, but the full song as heard on the breeding grounds is rather pleasing. It sometimes sings a weaker suggestion of this song during its spring migration in April and May. Dr. Harrison F. Lewis has sent me the following note on this song: "Pipits sing a good deal when passing Quebec, P. Q., in the spring migration. Here the song is commonly uttered while the birds are on the ground, but I have heard them sing from a tree, in which they perched freely. I do not appear to have any record of this species singing while in flight. The song is simple, but pleasant and attractive. It sounds like ke-ts

e, etc., and is apparently of indefinite duration. Sometimes the little trills are introduced into it frequently, at other times sparingly. The song is not thin, like that of the black and white warbler, but pretty and tinkling, though rather weak."

The song-flight has been described under courtship, and the flightsong, as heard on the breeding grounds, is described in the following notes from 0. J. Murie: "The pipits were generally shy. When I approached one he would fly off with a sharp tree-seep, tree-seep, tree-seeseep, then the impulse to sing would come over him and he would flutter his wings and go through his performance. The song was usually a repetition of syllables, see-see-see-see-see : : , a peculiar resonant kr accompanying and barely preceding each see, a quality impossible to describe adequately. This appeared to be the commonest form of the song. Sometimes it was varied, the notes being almost 2syllabled, as tsr-ee , tsr-ee, tsr-ee, tsr-ee : : , and again sounding like ter-ee-a, ter-ee-a, ter-ee-a : : . Often it was a quite different form, a clear gliding swit-swit-swit-swit : : , or a little more prolonged swee-swee-swee-swee : : : : . Frequently a bird would break off on one form of the song and finish on another. The song was usually given on the wing, soaring upward to a height of about a hundred feet, then fluttering downward, finally sailing down to a rock with wings set and raised, and tail elevated. All this time the bird would sing his repetition of the same note, sometimes keeping it up after alighting."

The note that we hear on the fall migration, or in winter, is very short and simple, suggesting the name pipit. F. H. Allen (MS.) says of the flock he was watching: "The birds got up a few at a time generally, uttering as they arose a musical wit-wit, or wit-wit-wit-wit, with the accent, I should say, on the last syllable. 'When they were well a-wing, their note was a single, short p'ro

t, very pleasing to the ear."

Mr. Cogswell contributes the following comparison of the notes of two species that are found along our shores and are likely to be confused: "The usual flight call note of the pipit is distinctive of this species, and helpful in separating a distant flying flock from horned larks inhabiting similar areas and with somewhat similar calls. The pipit's note is a sharp tsip: tsip, tspi-it, or just trip: trip-it the lark's is lower in pitch and much more rolling, not given so sharply: thus, sleek, slik-seeezik, or slik-sleesik, or just a sleek, sslile, slik."

Field marks: The American pipit is a plainly colored, gray and brownish bird with no conspicuous markings, except the white outer tail feathers and even these are not distinctive, for several other birds have them, notably the juncos, the vesper sparrow, and, to a less extent, the longspurs. The juncos are not often seen in the haunts of the pipit, and if they were, the color patterns of the different juncos are quite distinctive. The sparrow and longspurs are not so slender as the pipit they have short, conical bills, and they hop rather than run. The white tail feathers of the pipit show only in flight, but its slender form and sharp bill, together xvith its habit of walking or running, the nodding of its head, and the frequent up-and-down motion of its comparatively long tail should distinguish it from the others.

Fall: As soon as the young are able to care for themselves the pipits gather into flocks and begin to drift away from their breeding grounds before the end of August. We begin to see them in New England in September, in flocks of varying sizes from a dozen to a hundred or more, mainly coastwise on the salt marshes, on the mud flats, or along the beaches, but often farther inland along tidal streams, in open fields, and on wind-swept hills. They are commoner here in fall than in spring and usually remain to enliven the brown and dreary landscape until the frosts of late November drive them farther south. By this time the eastern birds have entirely deserted their northern breeding grounds. In the meantime the western birds have drifted doxvn from their alpine heights, above timberline, and are spread out over the plains and lowlands. Migrating birds are often seen in enormous flocks, as some continue their migration beyond our borders into Mexico and beyond.

Winter: Although the American pipit extends its winter range as far south as Guatemala, most of them spend the winter within the limits of the United States, fairly commonly as far north as California and Ohio farther north it is rarely seen in winter. Dr. Stone (1987) draws the following pen picture of winter pipits in New Jersey:

On some day of midwinter when there has been no blanket of snow such as sometimes covers the landscape, even at such a supposed 'semi-tropic' region as Cape May, we gaze over the broad monotonous expanses of ploived fields and conclude that here at least bird life Is absent. We contrast these silent brown stretches with the swamp edges and their bursts of sparrow conversation or with the old pasture fields where Meadowlarks are sputtering. But let us start to cross these apparently deserted fields and immediately with a weak dee-dee, dee-dee, a small brown bird flushes from almost beneath our feet, then another and another, displaying a flash of white feathers in the tall as they rise. In a moment they have settled again farther on and are lost to sight against the brown background as suddenly as they appeared. We advance again and now the ground before us seems fairly to belch forth birds, as with one accord, the whole flock takes wing, and with light, airy, undulating and Irregular flight, courses away over the fields, now clearly defined against the sky, now swallowed up in the an pervading brown of the laadscape.

In the sand hills of North Carolina Mr. Skinner (1928) saw pipits "only in the largest hay fields, winter-wheat fields, old cornfields where the stalks are all down, and in old cowpea fields." He did not find them in plowed fields. In Florida it is a common winter resident, abundant in the more northern parts we found it on the Kissimmee Prairie and on old fields and marshes elsewhere A. H. Howell (1932) says that it is occasionally seen on sand dunes and sea beaches, M. G. Vaiden tells me that it occurs in Mississippi as a migrant in both spring and fall, and "occasionally in winter in great numbers. They are usually found on the slopes of the levee I have noted flocks of at least 200 feeding on the levee."

Mr. Cogswell (MS.) says of the winter status of the pipit in southern California: "This species is a common winter visitant in all suitable localities below snow level I have found it most abundantly on wet pasturelands and in the fields bordering coastal marshes, but they are also present in any fields with short or no vegetation. On February 10, 1940, they were particularly abundant in the Chino Creek Valley and all over the nearby rolling hills, where flocks of hundreds foraged on the ground between the rows of growing grain, which completely hid them from view until they flew."


Range: The species is circumpolar, breeding in Europe, Asia, and northern North America and wintering south to northern Africa, southern Asia, and Central America.

Breeding range: The breeding range of the American races of the pipit is in the Arctic-Alpine regions north to northern Alaska (Meade River, about 100 miles south of Point Barrow, and Collison Point) northern Yukon (Herschel Island) northern Mackenzie (Kittigazuit, Franklin Bay, and Coronation Gulf) southern Somerset Island (Fort Ross) northern Baflin Island (Arctic Bay and Ponds Inlet) and about 750 north latitude on the west coast of Greenland (Devils Thumb Island). East to west coast of Greenland (Devils Thumb Island and Upernivik) eastern Baffin Island (Eglinton Fjord, Cumberland Sound, and Frobisher Bay) Labrador (Port Burwell, Hebron, Okkak, and Battle Harbor) Newfoundland (Cape Norman, Twillingate, and Cape Bonavista). South to Newfoundland (Cape Bonavista and the Lewis Hills), southeastern Quebec (Grosse Isle, Magdalen Islands rarely Mount Albert and Tablet op, Gasp

Peninsula) northern Maine (summit of Mount Katahdin) northern Ontario (Moose Factory) northern Manitoba (Churchill) central Mackenzie (Artillery Lake and Fort Providence) southwestern Alberta (Banif National Park) western Montana (Glacier National Park, Big Snowy Mountains, and Bear Tooth Mountains) Wyoming (Big Horn Mountains, Wind River Mountains, and the Medicine Bow Mountains) Colorado (Longs Peak, Mount Audubon, Seven Lakes, Pikes Peak, and Medano Creek) central northern New Mexico (Taos Mountains and Pecos Baldy) northeastern Utah (Uintah Mountains) central Idaho (Salmon River Mountains) and northern Oregon (Wallowa Mountains and, possibly, Mount Hood) has also been found in summer near the summit of Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen, Calif., but not surely breeding. West to Oregon (Mount Hood) the Cascades of Washington (Moimnt St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier) British Columbia (mountains near Princeton, near Doch-da-on Creek, Summit, and Atlin southwestern Yukon (Burwash Landing and Tecpee Lake) and the Aleutian Islands and western Alaska (Frosty Peak, Unalaska, the Near Islands, Nunivak Island, Wales, Kobuk River, and Meade River) has been found also on St. Lawrence Island.

Winter range: The pipit occurs in winter north to southwestern British Columbia (southern Vancouver Island, occasionally) western Washington (Tacoma, Nisqually Flats, and Vancouver) Oregon (Portland, Corvallis, and along the Malbeur River) Utah (Ogden Valley, Utah Lake, and St. George) central to southern Arizona (Fort Whipple, Fort-Verde, and Tucson) southern New Mexico (San Antonio and Carlsbad) southern and eastern Texas (Fort Clark, Kerrville, Austin, Waco, and Commerce) occasionally central Arkansas (Van Buren) northern Louisiana (Shreveport and Monroe) Tennessee, uncommon (Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Johnson City) and southern Virginia (Blacksburg, Naruna, and Virginia Beach) occasionally north to northern Ohio (Huron and Painesville) New Jersey (Seaside Park) Long Island (Long Beach and Orient) Connecticut (Saybrook) and Massachusetts (Newburyport). East to the Atlantic Coast States from southern Virginia (Virginia Beach) to southern Florida (Fernandina, St. Augustine, and Daytona Beach, Kissimmee, and Key West rarely). South to Florida (Key West, Fort Myers, and St. Marks) the Gulf coast to southern Texas (Rockport and Brownsville) eastern Mexico (Rodriguez, Nuevo Le6n Puebla and Huajuapam, Oaxaca) Guatemala and northern El Salvador (Volc6n de Santa Ana), the southernmost place that it has been recorded. West to Guatemala (Duefias) Oaxaca (Tehuantepec) Sinaloa (Mazatkin) Lower California (La Paz and San Quintin) the valleys and coast of California (La Jolla, Santa Barbara, San Francisco, Napa, and Eureka) western Oregon (Coos Bay and Netarts) western Washington (Nisqually Flats) and southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

The range as outlined applies to all the North American races, of which three are now recognized. The western pipit (A. s. paciflcu.s) breeds from southeastern Alaska through the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and in the Cascades to Oregon the Rocky Mountain pipit (A. s. aUicola) breeds in the Rocky Mountain region from Montana to New Mexico the eastern pipit (A. s. rabescens) breeds from Alaska to Greenland south to southern Yukon and Mackenzie to Quebec, Newfoundland, and Mount Katahdin, Maine. In winter the races are mingled.

Migration: Late dates of spring departure are: El Salvador: Volc

i.n de Santa Ana, April 16. Lower California: San Jose dcl Cabo, May 3. Sonora: Granados, May 6. Florida: Pensacola, April 27. Georgia: Athens, May 9. South Carolina: Charleston, April 22. North Carolina: Pea Island, May 16. District of Columbia: Washington, May 14. Pennsylvania: Erie, May 12. New York: Potter, May 16. Mississippi: Biloxi, April 29. Louisiana: Lobdell, May 2. Arkansas: Lake City, April 29. Kentucky: Bowling Green, May 8. Oberlin, May 24. Michigan: MeMillan, May 28. Ontario: Rossport, May 29. Missouri: St. Louis, May 2. Minnesota: Lake Vermillion, May 27. Texas: Somerset, May 1. Kansas: Onaga, May 23. Alberta: Genevis, May 26. British Columbia: Okanagan Landing, May 17.

Early dates of spring arrival are: District of Columbia: Washington, February 16. Pennsylvania: State College, February 28. New York: Ithaca, March 15. Massachusetts: Amherst, March 27. Maine: Auburn, May 2. New Brunswick: Chatham, May 6. Quebec: Kamouraska, May 6. Ohio: Oberlin, March 4. Ontario: London, May 1. Michigan: Detroit, March 31. Wisconsin: Milwaukee, April 20. Kansas: Lawrence, March 12. Nebraska: Hastings, March 10. South Dakota: Sioux Falls, March 27. North Dakota: Charlson, April 23. Manitoba: Aweme, April 15 Churchill, May 25. Saskatchewan: Eastend, April 21. Wyoming: Laramie, April 9. Utah: Brigham, April 4. Montana: I-Ielena, April 9. Alberta: Stony Plain, April 8. Mackenzie: Simpson, May 2. British Columbia: Chi lliwack, April 6. Alaska: Ketchikan, April 26 Fort Kenai, May 6.

Late dates of fall departure are: Alaska: Wainwright, September 28. British Columbia: Comox, November 9. Mackenzie: Simpson, October 16. Alberta: Glenevis, October 4. Saskatchewan: Eastend, October 16. Montana: Fortine, October 27. Wyoming: Laramie, November 6. Manitoba: Aweme, October 28. North Dakota: Argusville, October 28. South Dakota: Lake Poinsett, November 2. Nebraska Gresham, November 1. Kansas: Onaga, November 25. Minnesota: Minneapolis, October 31. Wisconsin: North Freedom, November 1. Illinois: Chicago. November 3. Michi gan: Sault Ste. Marie, NovemBer 8. Ontario: Toronto, Novcmbcr 13. Ohio: Youngstown, November 22. Quebec: Montreal, November 4. Maine: Machias, November 2. Massachusetts: Harvard, November 9. New York: New York, November 27. District of Columbia: Washington, December 23.

Early dates of fall arrival are: Alberta: Glenevis, August 19. Montana: Missoula, September 4. Minnesota: Hallock, September 4. Wisconsin: Madison, September 19. Ontario: Ottawa, September 9. Michigan: Blaney, September 19. Illinois: Hinsdale, September 14. Kentucky: Lexington, October 10. Tennessee: Memphis, October 10. Mississippi: EllisvilIe, October 19. Louisiana: New Orleans, October 10. Massachusetts: Danvers, September 14. New York: Orient, September 2. Pennsylvania: Dovlestown, September 9. District of Columbia: Washington, September 23. Virginia: Wytheville, October 24. North Carolina: Greensboro, October 17. South Carolina: Sullivans Island, September 10. Georgia: Round Oak, October 16. Florida: Fort Myers, September 26. Texas: Somerset, October 7. Chihuahua: Chihuahua, October 9 Lower California, San Andr6s, September 21.

Very few pipits have been banded, and the 10 recovery records are all of birds retrapped at the place of banding one or two years later.

Casual records: In November 1848 a flock visited Bermuda, from which two birds were shot, the date of one specimen being given as November 26. The American pipit has been twice collected on the island of Helgoland, an immature on November 11, 1851, and an adult on May 17, 1870. An immature bird was collected on September 30, 1910, on the island of St. Kilda, Outer Hebrides, Scotland.

Egg dates: Labrador: 21 records, June 10 to July 23 12 records, June 18 to 30, indicating the height of the season.

Alaska: 10 records, June 8 to 28. Colorado: 12 records, June 22 to July 26 9 records, June 25 to 30.


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5 thoughts on &ldquoFolk Song: Ang Pipit&rdquo

Hello po.. ask ko lang po kung may nakakalam nitong tagalog folk song tungkol din sa ibon at magsasaka ata.. pls read nalang po
: isang gabi kabilugan tumatagistis ang ulan
May humuning bato-bato meron daw isang kabalyero
Sinta koy napadangug at nagpagulonggulong pa sa silong
Sa malaki kung pag ampon natakluban pa nitong lusong
Ang lusong ay napakabigat sinta koy hindi makabuhat
Nang mag uumaga na mag babayo ang aking ama nabuklatan yaring sinta bulag na ang kabilang mata..

…yan po yung kanta hindi ko sure kung may kulang akong nailagay.. pero kwento nang tatay ko tungkol daw ito sa isang ibon at magsasaka.. kaso hindi ko makita kung sino ang composer or may kanta ba talagang ganito..

Saturday, 11 June 2011

11th June 2011

Best bird of the day was an immature male Eider that was found as the tide receded to the east of the island and stayed in the area for most of the morning. Thirty five Kittiwakes were an unusual site at this time of year as they fed fairly closely off the north end on the ebb, more distant were 3 Gannets and 25 Common Terns, while the only 2 Sandwich Terns seen were passing west in front of the island. Heavy rain showers failed to produce any influx of birds and most of the activity took place amongst the breeding species. Wading birds are now as expected at their lowest numbers present during the year, 75 Dunlin, 2 Ringed Plovers and 90 Oystercatchers are all that could be found. Two Little Egrets fed with the 3 Grey Herons in the east gutter. No sign of any rabbits today, although even the most sceptical members who had still not seen the mythical beast on the island will now have to believe after yesterdays photos ! (CJ,NDW, TGW ,SRW,PSW+4) photo CJ

Population history of Berthelot's pipit: colonization, gene flow and morphological divergence in Macaronesia

The fauna of oceanic islands provide exceptional models with which to examine patterns of dispersal, isolation and diversification, from incipient speciation to species level radiations. Here, we investigate recent differentiation and microevolutionary change in Berthelot's pipit (Anthus berthelotii), an endemic bird species inhabiting three Atlantic archipelagos. Mitochondrial DNA sequence data and microsatellite markers were used to deduce probable colonization pathway, genetic differentiation, and gene flow among the 12 island populations. Phenotypic differentiation was investigated based on eight biologically important morphological traits. We found little mitochondrial DNA variability, with only one and four haplotypes for the control region and cytochrome b, respectively. However, microsatellite data indicated moderate population differentiation (FST = 0.069) between the three archipelagos that were identified as genetically distinct units with limited gene flow. Both results, combined with the estimated time of divergence (2.5 millions years ago) from the Anthus campestris (the sister species), suggest that this species has only recently dispersed throughout these islands. The genetic relationships, patterns of allelic richness and exclusive alleles among populations suggest the species originally colonized the Canary Islands and only later spread from there to the Madeiran archipelago and Selvagen Islands. Differentiation has also occurred within archipelagos, although to a lesser degree. Gene flow was observed more among the eastern and central islands of the Canaries than between these and the western islands or the Madeiran Islands. Morphological differences were also more important between than within archipelagos. Concordance between morphological and genetic differentiation provided ambiguous results suggesting that genetic drift alone was not sufficient to explain phenotypic differentiation. The observed genetic and morphological differences may therefore be the result of differing patterns of selection pressures between populations, with Berthelot's pipit undergoing a process of incipient differentiation.

The Origins of 10 Nicknames

The name Richard is very old and was popular during the Middle Ages. In the 12th and 13th centuries everything was written by hand and Richard nicknames like Rich and Rick were common just to save time. Rhyming nicknames were also common and eventually Rick gave way to Dick and Hick, while Rich became Hitch. Dick, of course, is the only rhyming nickname that stuck over time. And boy did it stick. At one point in England, the name Dick was so popular that the phrase "every Tom, Dick, or Harry" was used to describe Everyman.

2. Why is Bill from William?

There are many theories on why Bill became a nickname for William the most obvious is that it was part of the Middle Ages trend of letter swapping. Much how Dick is a rhyming nickname for Rick, the same is true of Bill and Will. Because hard consonants are easier to pronounce than soft ones, some believe Will morphed into Bill for phonetic reasons. Interestingly, when William III ruled over in England in the late 17th century, his subjects mockingly referred to him as "King Billy."

3. Why is Hank from Henry?

The name Henry dates back to medieval England. (Curiously, at that time, Hank was a diminutive for John.) So how do we get Hank from Henry? Well, one theory says that Hendrick is the Dutch form of the English name Henry. Henk is the diminutive form of Hendrick, ergo, Hank from Henk. Hanks were hugely popular here in the States for many decades, though by the early 90s it no longer appeared in the top 1,000 names for baby boys. But Hank is making a comeback! In 2010, it cracked the top 1,000, settling at 806. By 2013 it was up to 626.

4. Why is Jack from John?

The name Jack dates back to about 1,200 and was originally used as a generic name for peasants. Over time, Jack worked his way into words such as lumberjack and steeplejack. Even jackass, the commonly used term for a donkey, retains its generic essence in the word Jack. Of course, John was once used as a generic name for English commoners and peasants, (John Doe) which could be why Jack came became his nickname. But the more likely explanation is that Normans added -kin when they wanted to make a diminutive. And Jen was their way of saying John. So little John became Jenkin and time turned that into Jakin, which ultimately became Jack.

5. Why is Chuck from Charles?

"Dear Chuck" was an English term of endearment and Shakespeare, in Macbeth, used the phrase to refer to Lady Macbeth. What's this have to do with Charles? Not much, but it's interesting. However, Charles in Middle English was Chukken and that's probably where the nickname was born.

6. Why is Peggy from Margaret?

The name Margaret has a variety of different nicknames. Some are obvious, as in Meg, Mog and Maggie, while others are downright strange, like Daisy. But it's the Mog/Meg we want to concentrate on here as those nicknames later morphed into the rhymed forms Pog(gy) and Peg(gy).

7. Why is Ted from Edward?

The name Ted is yet another result of the Old English tradition of letter swapping. Since there were a limited number of first names in the Middle Ages, letter swapping allowed people to differentiate between people with the same name. It was common to replace the first letter of a name that began with a vowel, as in Edward, with an easier to pronounce consonant, such as T. Of course, Ted was already a popular nickname for Theodore, which makes it one of the only nicknames derived from two different first names. Can you name the others?

8. Why is Harry from Henry?

Since Medieval times, Harry has been a consistently popular nickname for boys named Henry in England. Henry was also very popular among British monarchs, most of whom preferred to be called Harry by their subjects. This is a tradition that continues today as Prince Henry of Wales , as he was Christened, goes by Prince Harry. Of course, Harry is now used as a given name for boys. In 2006, it was the 593rd most popular name for boys in the United States. One reason for its upsurge in popularity is the huge success of those amazing Harry Potter books.

9. Why is Jim from James?

There are no definitive theories on how Jim became the commonly used nickname for James, but the name dates back to at least the 1820s. For decades, Jims were pretty unpopular due to the "Jim Crow Law," which was attributed to an early 19th century song and dance called "Jump Jim Crow," performed by white actors in blackface. The name "Jim Crow" soon became associated with African Americans and by 1904, Jim Crow aimed to promote segregation in the South. Jim has since shed its racial past, and is once again a popular first name for boys all by itself, sans James.

10. Why is Sally from Sarah?

Sally was primarily used as a nickname for Sarah in England and France. Like some English nicknames, Sally was derived by replacing the R in Sarah with an L. Same is true for Molly, a common nickname for Mary. Though Sally from the Peanuts never ages, the name itself does and has declined in popularity in recent years. Today, most girls prefer the original Hebrew name Sarah.

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