The American Pipit (Anthus rubescens) adds sparkle to a visit to New England’s highest alpine summit with its captivating flight displays, delicate “pip-pip” calls, and a penchant for tail-bobbing while perched on boulders and trail signs. It is a slender sparrow-sized migratory bird that nests on the ground, but only in arctic and alpine environments. East of the Rocky Mountains, pipits are documented to breed in only three isolated mountaintop areas – Quebec’s Chic-Chocs, Maine’s Mount Katahdin, and New Hampshire’s Mount Washington. Because of their extremely limited breeding distribution in New Hampshire, American Pipits are state-listed as “Special Concern” species, a classification that indicates that the species could decline to state-threatened status if conservation actions are not taken. Additionally, the updated New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan (NH Fish and Game 2015) includes pipits as a “Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN).” SGCN species are those in serious trouble – declining numbers, with smaller patches of habitat, and/or threatened by a host of management issues.
Program Report: 2018 Survey of American Pipits (Anthus rubescens) breeding on Mount Washington
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