Small bird (about 17 cm or 6.5 in) with long legs and tail. Plumage during the breeding season with bluish grey head, white throat and eyebrow, greyish brown back, striated and smooth pink breast, with some faint streaks on the flanks. In winter, the plumage is similar to that of other pipits, with a very brown grey striated back, a very striped light breast and a black moustachial stripe. External feathers of the tail of white colour, visible in flight.
Where it lives
Species linked to the high mountain occupying wet meadows and avoiding the scrub. In winter it prefers coastal plains, streams, rivers and inland wetlands, mainly freshwater.
How it lives
Wintering bird in the province, also present during the pre-nuptial migratory passage. Migratory species of short distance, this bird winters around the Mediterranean without getting to cross the Sahara. It makes one annual laying as of May of 4 to 6 eggs. Nest on the ground. Like other high mountain birds, the Water Pipit usually makes use of cooperative breeding to cope with the hostility of the habitat, showing a certain degree of polygamy (a male with two females or a female with two males). Insectivore that usually forages on the ground and alone, moving on foot and with small hops or on top of a stone.
Where it can be seen in Malaga
Frequent species in winter in the province. Common in the mouth of the Vélez river and in the low course of the Guadalhorce river, in mouths of many small coastal rivers and in the inland lagoons. In the Great Path it can be watched, for example, in stages 2, 3, 4 and 18.
The Water Pipit alternates different ecosystems. During the breeding season it occupies the high mountain and during winter it is present in humid areas at a lower altitude, being even common to see it on the banks of streams.