South Georgia pipit

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South Georgia pipit
Anthus antarcticus -South Georgia, British overseas territory-8.jpg
On South Georgia, British overseas territory
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Anthus
Species: A. antarcticus
Binomial name
Anthus antarcticus
Cabanis, 1884

The South Georgia pipit (Anthus antarcticus) is a sparrow-sized bird only found on the South Georgia archipelago off the Antarctic Peninsula. It is the only song bird in Antarctica, South Georgia's only passerine, and one of the few non-seabirds of the region.

It builds nests from dried grass, usually within tussac grass, and lays four eggs a year. It feeds on small insects and spiders, and beach debris.

It has been threatened by the human introduction to the islands of rats, and also by environmental damage caused by humans themselves. It has been chosen as the poster bird of the South Georgia Heritage Trust's Habitat Restoration (Rat Eradication) project, which started eradicating rats on South Georgia in 2011. The project's baiting phase ended in early 2015, and success was confirmed in 2018.[2]

Visitors can see the bird on Prion Island, and on almost any beach on South Georgia since the eradication project took hold.

Description[edit]

The South Georgia pipit is a small and stocky pipit, 17 cm (6.7 in) long and weighing 36 g (1.3 oz). The species has long legs and a very long hindclaw and a short tail.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Anthus antarcticus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Amos, Jonathan (2018-05-09). "Rodents driven from South Georgia". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  3. ^ Higgins, P. J.; Pater, L. M.; Cowling, J. S., eds. (2006). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. 7: Boatbill to Starlings. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. pp. 1389–1391. ISBN 0-19-553996-6.