Short-tailed Pipit | Anthus brachyurus

The Short-tailed Pipit is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Motacillidae bird family group which includes birds such as Wagtails, Longclaws, Pipits.

The description for the Short-tailed Pipit (Latin name Anthus brachyurus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anthus brachyurus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 724 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1111. You will find a picture of the Short-tailed Pipit on page 1120.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

Neither the Latin nor the English name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Short-tailed Pipit has a height of 12 cms and weighs around 16 gms. The head is coloured black, brown while the bill is coloured brown. The Anthus brachyurus has a white coloured throat, pink legs and a black, brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black, brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is brown.

Legs are pink.

Throat is white.

Back is black, brown.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult  
Female Adult  
Juvenile  
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Short Tailed Pipit Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Short tailed Pipit Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Short-tailed Pipit is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured pink.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Short-tailed Pipit is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.