BIRD OF THE WEEK — SPRAGUE’S PIPIT — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD has over 1,100 members and over 52,800 photos and videos. 

AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Anthus spraqueii
POPULATION: 1.2 million
TREND: Decreasing
HABITAT: Breeds and winters in large areas of native short- and mixed-grass prairie

Sprague’s Pipit, also known as the Missouri Skylark, is often an inconspicuous and solitary species. But on its breeding grounds, the male bird becomes a star, staging vocal flight displays that can last from 30 minutes to three hours at a time. This aerial breeding display is thought to be the longest of any bird species.

Like Baird’s Sparrow, Sprague’s Pipit is very sensitive to human disturbance, disappearing rapidly when people alter its habitat. It has experienced a 79 percent drop in population since 1966, when the Breeding Bird Survey first began to monitor bird population trends.

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