IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

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Biology

The yellow-breasted pipit can generally be found skulking through its grassland habitat, foraging for prey such as mantises and beetles. When disturbed, it will attempt to escape on foot, running swiftly through the grass, only taking to the air when close to capture. One of the most remarkable behaviours of the yellow-breasted pipit is its acrobatic, aerial song display, during which it soars high into the air and cruises for a short distance, before diving vertically into the grass (3). These displays help to establish and maintain lifelong, monogamous pairs, which breed during the summer rains between November and February (2) (3). The nest is constructed on the ground from grass and rootlets, with a lining of hair and finer rootlets, and is usually hidden beneath a grass clump to conceal it from predators (3). In the dry winter months following the breeding season, the birds may aggregate into small flocks, with some spending the winter at the breeding sites, living around the snowline, and others migrating to lower elevations and to the coast of KwaZulu-Natal (2) (3).

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Source: ARKive

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