A large pipit with a powerful bill, Richard’s pipit is noticeable for its long hind claws and upright stance (4), and a prominent dark eye stripe which results in a constant surprised, wide-eyed expression (5). The long, blunt bill is dark on the upper side and yellowish on the underside and at the base (5). The feathers on the back are dark brown, whilst the breast and part of the underside is tinged with reddish-brown. The outer tail feathers are white, a feature which distinguishes this species from other birds in the Anthusgenus, which typically have cream-coloured outer tail feathers (5). The male and female of this species tend to look almost identical in terms of size and weight; the female, however, is slightly less tinged with red on the underside (2). The call of Richard’s pipit is a loud and somewhat grating shreep noise (4).
Typically a solitary bird (8), Richard’s pipit feeds on a varied diet of insects, larvae and seeds (9). While a powerful flier, it spends the majority of its time on the ground, preferring to both nest and forage at ground level (10)(11).
Breeding takes place during the early summer months from May to June, when nests are built in existing hollows in the ground, such as the footprint left by a passing animal (12). If the nest becomes threatened both the male and female will attempt to lure unwanted intruders away with noticeable cries (12).
A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
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