[order] Passeriformes | [family] Motacillidae | [latin] Anthus cervinus | [UK] Red-Throated Pipit | [FR] Pipit ā gorge rousse | [DE] Rotkehlpieper | [ES] Bisbita de Garganta Roja | [IT] Pisploa golarossa | [NL] Roodkeelpieper

Roodkeelpieper determination

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A small, sleek, streaked, brownish but quite robust pipit, with bulk approaching Olive-backed Pipit, and colorful, changing plumage patterns. Ccombination of little-marked face, broadly streaked upperparts and buff underparts with large spotted chest and flanks creates darker. Male less streaked below with variable pink or red-buff suffusion on face, throat, and even chest, producing diagnostic appearance. Summer female may resemble male but usually has less pink and more streaks below. Rather short bill, usually brown legs, and long hind claw form useful characters.

Arctic and subarctic, between isotherms of 2-15 C degrees, north of forest limits and mainly on shrubby or mossy tundra, although locally in Scandinavia up to 1000 m, and near water in swamps of willow and birch. Near settlements will adapt to drained and cultivated land, as well as damp grassy flats.

Anthus cervinus is a widespread summer visitor to northern Fennoscandia and Russia, with Europe accounting for less than a quarter of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is very large (>1,000,000 pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. The relatively small populations in Sweden and Finland declined during 1990-2000, whereas the trend for the Russian stronghold was unknown, but there was no evidence to suggest that its status deteriorated significantly.

Chiefly insects, also small water snails and a few seeds. Feeds on ground by pecking and probing amongst vegetation. On seashore, probes amongst washed up seaweed After capture, largest prey items are vigorously pounded on ground before swallowing. In summer feeds most actively from late morning to late afternoon.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 10,000,000 kmē. It has a large global population estimated to be 500,000-5,000,000 individuals (Rich et al. 2003). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

May at southern extent of range, June-July further north. Nest site is built on ground in side of hummock or bank, or sheltered by low scrub. Sometimes at end of short tunnel in mossy hummock. Nest is hollow in moss or ground, filled with cup of grass leaves and stems, with some moss and dead leaves in base, minimal lining of finer grass, hair, and some feathers. Clutch size 5-7 eggs, which are incubated 11-14 days by female only.

Winters widely to the south in n,c Africa, Canary Islands, Near East, Arabia, s,se Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines; one record in Australia. Fall vagrant records in Calif. and w Mexico. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)