30 September 2012

Paddyfield Pipit

Date Taken: 08 Sep 2012
Place: Bangalore
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Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a small passerine bird in the pipits and wagtail family. It is a resident breeder in open scrub, grassland and cultivation in southern Asia east to the Philippines. Although among the few breeding pipits in the Asian region, identification becomes difficult in winter when several other species migrate into the region. The taxonomy of the species is complex and has undergone considerable changes.

This is a large pipit at 15 cm, but is otherwise an undistinguished looking bird, mainly streaked grey-brown above and pale below with breast streaking. It is long legged with a long tail and a long dark bill. Sexes are similar. Summer and winter plumages are similar. Young birds are more richly coloured below than adults and have the pale edges to the feather's of the upper parts more conspicuous with more prominent spotting on the breast. The population waitei from northwestern India and Pakistan is pale while the population malayensis from the Western Ghats is larger, darker and more heavily streaked with nominate rufulus intermediate.
In winter some care must be taken to distinguish this from other pipits that winter in the area, such as Richard's Pipit, Anthus richardi and Blyth's Pipit, Anthus godlewskii. Paddyfield Pipit is smaller and dumpier, has shorter looking tail and has a weaker fluttering flight. The usually uttered characteristic "chip-chip-chip" call is quite different from usual calls of Richard's Pipit (explosive "shreep") and Blyth's Pipit (nasal "pschreen"). Tawny Pipit has less streaking on the mantle and has a black loreal stripe and a longer tail. The Western Ghats population can appear very similar to the Nilgiri Pipit.

content credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paddyfield_Pipit