Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Water pipit

Anthus spinoletta

Photo by James Wood (Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:

Order Passeriformes
Family Motacillidae

They breed in mountainous areas of central and southern Europe, through Turkey and the Caucasus, into the mountains of northern Iran and Turkmenistan, and all the way to southern Russia, Mongolia and China. They winter along the the coasts of south-west Europe and the Mediterranean, in the lowlands of north-east Africa and Arabia, and in Pakistan, north-west India and southern China.

The water pipit is 18 cm long and has a wingspan of 26 cm. they weigh 23 g.

They breed in alpine meadows. During the winter they use a range of wetland habitats, including coastal areas, estuaries, marshes, river banks, wet meadows and rice fields.

The water pipit feeds primarily on insects and larvae, as well as some plant material.

The nest of the water pipit tends to be situated on the side of a steep bank or in a hollow, well concealed by overhanging vegetation, and is made from surrounding vegetation by the female. Females lay 2 clutches per year, each consisting of 4-5 eggs, which are incubated for 15-16 days. The chicks are fed large arthropods by both parents until fledging, which takes place 14-15 days after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
With a very large breeding range, a population estimated at 10-100 million, and no evidence for any declines or substantial threats, the species is not threatened at present.

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