Bush pipit

Anthus caffer

TAXONOMY

Anthus caffer Sundevall, 1850, Natal, South Africa. Five subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Bushveld pipit; French: Pipit cafre; German: Buschpieper; Spanish: Bisbita Negra.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.9-5.5 in (12.5-14 cm); 0.6 oz (16 g). Buff underparts streaked with brown at the throat and breast. Dark brownish head and upperparts with lighter eyestripe and chin.

DISTRIBUTION

A. c. coffer: Southeast Botswana, southwest Zimbabwe, northern South Africa and west Swaziland; A. c. troylori: South Mozambique and adjacent northeast South Africa; A. c. mzimboensis: northeast Botswana, central Zimbabwe, northern Zambia, extreme southeast Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and western Malawi; A. c. bloneyi: Kenya and Tanzania; A. c. oustroloobyssinicus: Ethiopia.

HABITAT

Open woodland with patchy ground cover, woodland edges, and grassland with scattered trees.

BEHAVIOR

Occurs in pairs or small flocks, often with mixed-species bird parties. Flies to trees when disturbed. Some A. c. mzimboensis undertake post-breeding movements from Botswana and Zimbabwe north to Zambia, DRC, and Malawi.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages for insects on the ground in grass and leaf-litter.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Breeds October through April, during rains. Nest is a thick-walled cup of grass, lined rootlets, on ground under tuft of grass. Lays two to three eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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