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Short-tailed Pipit - BirdForum Opus

Anthus brachyurus


Length 12-13 cm. A very small pipit with a short, thin tail. The upper parts are dark and heavily streaked; outer tail is white.

Possibly the only sexually dimorphic pipits:1 The males have distinctly buffy underparts, while the females are white with bold chest streaking.


Africa south of the equator.


Anthus brachyurus has two subspecies:2

  • A. b. leggei
  • A. b. brachyurus


Short sparse grassland; in the winter months also recorded on short seasonally flooded grassland.


Seldom venture from grass cover where they forage for invertebrates and seeds.

Breeding: Monogamous and territorial. The nest is a grass cup concealed in dense grass; two to three eggs are laid.


  1. Chittenden H. 2008. Short-Tailed Pipit. Downloaded from www.birdinfo.co.za on 30 August 2008.
  2. Clements JF. 2007. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2008. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801445019
  3. Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 0620340533
  4. Sinclair I & Ryan P. 2003. Birds of Africa south of the Sahara. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0620207299

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