I took this pipit picture several winters ago as the bird made tracks across the beach at Morro Bay, California. Until recently this species was known as the Water Pipit, found across northern parts of the world, from Great Britain and Scandinavia to North America. In the New World, this pipit breeds in the Arctic and south through the Rocky Mountains. American Pipits winter along our Pacific Coast and across the southern United States and northern Central America.
Genetic studies conclude that our pipits are different from most of those of the Old World. Thus ours is now known as the American Pipit and those of the Old World are still called Water Pipits. The only exception to this pattern is that pipits in the far eastern areas of Asia are retained as subspecies of our American Pipit (Verbeek and Hendricks 1994).