South Georgia Pipits
16 x 12 inches, Oil, 2010,
Donated to the South Georgia Heritage Trust for a fund raising auction. For details please communicate with SGHT. Link on my home page.
A pair of South Georgia Pipits are resting on a mossy slope. South Georgia pipits are the most southerly song bird of all, but their survival is seriously threatened by the alien rat population. A programme of rat eradication is to be undertaken in 2011, and hopefully the pipits will eventually re-colonise their original habitat in succeeding years. For information on this check out the SGHT website and follow the links for details about this habitat restoration project.
The South Georgia Pipit (Anthus antarcticus) is a sparrow sized bird, is South Georgia's only passerine and is only found on South Georgia. It is also considered to be the Antarctic's only song bird, and is one of the few non- seabirds of the region. It builds nests from dried grass, and lays four eggs a year. It lives off 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.
Passerine birds are birds in the order Passeriformes. They are birds which perch and happen to be the largest and most diverse avian order. There are an estimated six thousand species in this avian order, spread out across the world. Many people are familiar with passerine birds since these birds are so abundant; sparrows, starlings, and pigeons, three common birds, are all passerines. In fact, sparrows lend their name to the order; passer means “sparrow ” in Latin.