Buffy Pipit | Anthus vaalensis

Robert's Birding Information: Buffy Pipit

The Buffy 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 Buffy Pipit (Latin name Anthus vaalensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Anthus vaalensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 719 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 1107. You will find a picture of the Buffy 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 Buffy Pipit is known in Afrikaans as Vaalkoester.

The Buffy Pipit has a height of 18 cms and weighs around 29 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured brown. The Anthus vaalensis has a grey coloured throat, yellow legs and a 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 brown.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is brown.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is grey.

Back is 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

Buffy Pipit Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Anthus vaalensis attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

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

The Anthus vaalensis forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Buffy Pipit Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Buffy 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 white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The Buffy Pipit is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

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

The bird is found in the African bushveld.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Buffy Pipit can occur solitary or in pairs!