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South Georgia Pipit - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by HabbinAlan
Prion Island, South Georgia, 19 January 2014
Anthus antarcticus


Photo © by charelli
South Georgia, January 2004

L. 16.5 cm. (6.5")


Evenly streaked with bold black and rich buff upperparts. No obvious white mantle stripes. Underparts almost entirely streaked dark. Prominent malar stripe. Tail dusky with white outer rectrices. Lacks pale supercilium but has whitish wing-bar on tips of median coverts. Bill relatively broad-based, grayish-brown. Legs pale flesh-brown with long rear claw. Sexes alike.


Like fresh adult but averages buffier, especially on underparts.

Similar species

None within range. Correndera Pipit (A. correndera) of South America is similar but South Georgia Pipit decidedly larger and more boldly streaked on head and belly.


Endemic to grasslands of South Georgia Island.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Hillside, tussock grass.


Walks on the ground. The only passerine breeding on South Georgia.


It builds a large bulky nest from dried grass lined with feathers, covered by canopy of brown and green tussac grass. The clutch consists of 3-5 eggs laid in January or February.


The diet includes insects and spiders, and beach debris. Prefers springtails in freshwater pools in spring.


Conspicuous display flight in breeding season with repeated twittering and high-pitched sequences lasting several minutes. Short soft notes given when flushed.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BirdLife International. 2016. Anthus antarcticus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22718588A94587376. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22718588A94587376.en. Downloaded on 12 June 2018.
  3. Tyler, S. (2018). South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/57794 on 12 June 2018).
  4. Shirihai, H. 2008. Complete Guide to Antarctic Wildlife: Birds and Marine Mammals of the Antarctic Continent and the Southern Ocean. Princeton & Oxford: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691136660
  1. Wikipedia
  2. ARKive

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