Olive-backed Pipit – Accepted

1. 26–29 Sep 1998


Southeast Farallon I. SF



ph., NAB 53:5, Capitolo et al. (2000)







Olive-backed Pipit

OLIVE-BACKED PIPIT Anthus hodgsoni Richmond, 1907

Accepted: 1 (100%)

Treated in Appendix H: no

Not accepted: 0

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 0

Color image: none

This pipit breeds from northeastern Europe east across northern Eurasia to eastern Siberia, Kamchatka and nearby highlands, the Kuril Islands, and Japan. The wintering grounds extend from India across Southeast Asia to Korea and Japan and south to the Philippines. Two subspecies are recognized: A. h. hodgsoni in the southern part of the range and A. h. yunnanensis in the north. The latter is a regular vagrant through the western Aleutian Islands in spring and fall, very rarely reaching the Pribilof Islands and St. Lawrence Island. A multi-day incursion of Asian migrants to Attu Island in mid May 1998 yielded an unprecedented count of 225 Olive-backed Pipits on 17 May (AFN 52:373). The first documented record for mainland Alaska involves an adult yunnanensis banded on 27 July 1998 on the Alaska Peninsula (Capitolo et al. 2000). Elsewhere in the New World, 12–15 birds were photographed during late September and early October 1983 on Kure Atoll in Hawaii (Pyle 1984); a specimen of yunnanensis was collected on 16 May 1967 near Reno, Nevada (Burleigh 1968); and a first-fall bird was observed on 18 and 19 October 1996 at Cataviña in Baja California (likely yunnanensis, Hamilton et al. 2000).

California’s only Olive-backed Pipit, a first-fall bird identified as yunnanensis, was present from 26 to 29 September 1998 on Southeast Farallon Island, where it was measured and photographed (Capitolo et al. 2000).

Observers should carefully distinguish the Olive-backed Pipit from its similar Asian relatives, especially the Tree Pipit (A. trivialis), which has occurred three times in Alaska (Gibson and Kessel 1992, AFN 49:293, NAB 57:104). Useful identification resources include works by King (1981), Parkes (1982), and Alström and Mild (2003).