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The South Georgia pipit – Anthus antarcticus

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.

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

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.

It sounds like this
Recording by Pablo Petracci from Xeno canto