Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats Specimen Records:417 Specimens with Sequences:334 Specimens with Barcodes:318 Species:41 Species With Barcodes:31 Public Records:215 Public Species:24 Public BINs:26
The IUCN lists no species of pipits or wagtails as critically endangered, two as endangered, three as vulnerable and five as near threatened. Most of the North American species are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. No pipits or wagtails are listed by CITES or ESA.
The main threats to pipits and wagtails are habitat loss and fragmentation, introduced species and changes in native species dynamics. Some species of pipits and wagtails benefit from increased development and land clearing. However, they become more susceptible to nest predation as edge habitat increases, and they often lose nests to livestock. In addition, while the clearing of forests increases habitat for pipits and wagtails, the draining of wetlands and reversion of farmland to forest decreases habitat. Pipits that breed in the arctic and alpine seem to suffer little from human disturbance. However, climate change is predicted to change tree lines and increase habitat fragmentation, which may have negative effects on pipit populations.
2003. "UNEP-WCMC Species Database: CITES-Listed Species" (On-line). Accessed November 14, 2003 at http://www.cites.org/eng/resources/species.html.
Threatened and Endangered Species System, 2003. "U.S. Listed Vertebrate Animal Species Report by Taoxonomic Group" (On-line). Accessed November 14, 2003 at http://ecos.fws.gov/tess_public/TESSWebpageVipListed?code=V&listings=0#B.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, date unknown. "Birds Protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act" (On-line). Accessed November 14, 2003 at http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/intrnltr/mbta/mbtintro.html.
IUCN, 2002. "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" (On-line). Accessed November 10, 2003 at http://www.redlist.org/.
Pipits and wagtails are in the order Passeriformes and family Motacillidae. The family Motacillidae is one of the most widespread in the world and is divided into six genera. Three genera are found in the Holarctic: Anthus (pipits), Motacilla (wagtails) and Dendronanthus (forest wagtail). Three are found only in Africa: Hemimacronyx (yellow-breasted pipit (H. chloris), and sharpe's longclaw (H. sharpei)), Tmetothylacus (golden pipit (T. tenellus)) and Macronyx (longclaws)). There are 54 to 58 species of Motacillidae, some of which interbreed.
Pipits and wagtails are small to medium sized birds with long, slim bodies and long tails (which they often bob up and down, especially while foraging). Pipits are quite drab; they have brown plumage with streaking on the breast. It is difficult to identify different species of pipits in the field. Wagtails, on the other hand, often have bright summer plumage with white, black, gray, yellow and green feathers. Sexes are dimorphic in wagtails but not pipits.
Motacillids are insectivores and are found in open and semi-open habitat. They have a worldwide distribution and are even found in Antarctica.
Alstrom, P., K. Mild. 2003. Pipits and Wagtails. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Badyaev, A., P. Hendricks. 2001. Wagtails and Pipits. Pp. 479-484 in C Elphick, J Dunning, D Sibley, eds. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Pipits and wagtails have a worldwide distribution. However, most species are found in Eurasia and Africa. Forty-six percent of pipit and wagtail species are found in Africa, 21 percent in Asia and 16 percent in the New World, Africa and Eurasia.
Campbell, B., E. Lack. 1985. A Dictionary of Birds. Vermillion: Buteo Books.
Simms, E. 1992. British Larks, Pipits & Wagtails. London: Harper Collins Publishers.
Cramp, S., D. Brooks, E. Dunn, R. Gillmor, J. Hall-Craggs, P. Hollom, E. Nicholson, M. Ogilvie, C. Roselaar, P. Sellar, K. Simmons, K. Voous, D. Wallace, M. Wilson. 1988. Handbook of The Birds of Europe the Middle East and North Africa: The Birds of the Western Palearctic, Volume V, Tyrant Flycatchers to Thrushes. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wagtails, pipits, and longclaws are slender, small to medium sized passerines, ranging from 14 to 17 centimetres in length, with short necks and long tails. They have long, pale legs with long toes and claws, particularly the hind toe which can be up to 4 cm in length in some longclaws. There is no sexual dimorphism in size. Overall the robust longclaws are larger than the pipits and wagtails. Longclaws can weigh as much as 64 g, whereas the weight range for pipits and wagtails is 15–31 g. The plumage of most pipits is dull brown and reminiscent of the larks, although some species have brighter plumages, particularly the golden pipit of north-east Africa. The adult male longclaws have brightly coloured undersides. The wagtails often have striking plumage, including grey, black, white, and yellow.
Most motacillids are ground-feeding insectivores of slightly open country. They occupy almost all available habitats, from the shore to high mountains. Wagtails prefer wetter habitats to the pipits. A few species use forests, including the forest wagtail, and other species use forested mountain streams, such as the grey wagtail or the mountain wagtail.
Motacillids take a wide range of invertebrate prey, especially insects are the most commonly taken, but also including spiders, worms, and small aquatic molluscs and arthropods. All species seem to be fairly catholic in their diet, and the most commonly taken prey for any particular species or population usually reflects local availability.
With the exception of the forest wagtail, they nest on the ground, laying up to six speckled eggs.
^Voelker, Gary; Scott V. Edwards (1998). "Can Weighting Improve Bushy Trees? Models of Cytochrome b Evolution and the Molecular Systematics of Pipits and Wagtails (Aves: Motacillidae)". Systematic Biology 47 (4): 589–603. doi:10.1080/106351598260608. PMID12066304.
^ abcClancey, P.A. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph, ed. Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 172–173. ISBN1-85391-186-0.
Pipits and wagtails are small to medium sized birds (14 to 21 cm, 12 to 50 g) with long tails (especially wagtails), bodies, legs and claws (reaching up to 4 cm in some species of longclaw). They have thin, pointed bills with a small hump above the nostril. Sexes are of similar size, but males may be slightly larger and/or have longer wings.
Although they are structurally similar, pipits and wagtails differ dramatically in their plumage. With the exception of two species that have yellow plumage, pipits tend to be cryptic, with brown feathers and streaking above and on the breast. During the breeding season, male wagtails can have white, gray, yellow, green and black feathers. Male and female wagtails are dimorphic in plumage; both females and juveniles tend to have less coloration than males and their plumage resembles male winter plumage. Pipits show no sexual dimorphism in plumage.
Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike; male larger; sexes colored or patterned differently; male more colorful
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Wood, B. 1985. Larks, Wagtails and Pipits. Pp. 336-341 in C Perrins, A Middleton, eds. The Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Facts on File Publications.