Yellowbreasted pipit

Anthus chloris

TAXONOMY

Anthus chloris Lichtenstein, 1842, Vaal/Modder Rivers, South Africa.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Pipit a gorge jaune; German: Gelbbrustpieper; Spanish: Bisbita de Pecho Amarillo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm); 0.9 oz (25 g). Mottled brown upperparts with yellowish eye stripe and yellow chin to belly.

DISTRIBUTION

Eastern South Africa and Lesotho. HABITAT

Submontane, flat to undulating lush grasslands, usually tus-socky; normally breeds at 4,600-7,900 ft (1,400-2,400 m); outside breeding season also in lower-elevation pastures and fallow lands.

BEHAVIOR

Territorial when breeding; usually in pairs but in small flocks when not breeding. Skulking and furtive. Sings from ground or in display flight. Some move to lower altitudes after breeding.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages on the ground for insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous; breeds November though January, during rains. Nest is a cup of stalks, grass and roots, lined rootlets and hair; built under tussock. Lays two to three eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Vulnerable because habitat loss and range contraction suggest its small population (2,500-6,500 birds in 2000) is declining. Threatened by burning, grazing, agricultural intensification and commercial afforestation.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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