Not a sparrow, not a thrush, he’s on his way to Georgia … sort of.
American pipits (Anthus rubescens) nest in alpine and arctic tundra and winter in open country from the southern U.S. (including Georgia) to Guatemala. Right now they’re on the move through western Pennsylvania, but because our area lacks tundra the best place to find pipits is on mudflats. And where are those?
Last Sunday a bunch of us stopped at Somerset “Not a Lake” in Somerset, PA to look for birds. The lake was drained to repair the dam and out on the mud roamed killdeer, dunlin and other shorebirds. Among them were two songbirds that pecked the mud, darted, zigzagged, ran and jumped. American pipits.
We could hear them, too. Here’s a loud pipit (with a soft longspur in the background):
On Throw Back Thursday this vintage article that lists why pipits aren’t thrushes. Back in 2010 it was posed as a quiz, but I’ve already told you the answer 😉 Quiz: Not A Thrush.
(photo from Wikimedia Commons; click on the image to see the original)