email a friend
printable version
Ochre-breasted Pipit Anthus nattereri
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is Vulnerable owing to the extensive and ongoing reduction in suitable habitat, especially within its Brazilian range, and it is likely to have suffered a concomitant rapid population decline. It was formerly considered Endangered, but recent surveys in Argentina and Paraguay have found the species to be more common and widespread than previously thought.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

14 cm. Bright, boldly streaked pipit. Ochre-yellow in fresh plumage but faded when worn. Upperparts broadly streaked black. Broad breast-band of bold streaks, which reappear on sides of abdomen. Similar spp. Yellowish Pipit A. lutescens is smaller, barely tinged yellow and less boldly marked above. Hellmayr's Pipit A. hellmayri has fine breast streaking. Voice Long series of warbled phrases in display flight, ending with repeated series of nasal iieeeerrrr as the bird drops near-vertically. Hints Best located by distinctive voice and display.

Distribution and population
Anthus nattereri occurs in south-east Brazil (Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), south Paraguay (Paraguarí, Misiones, Itapúa, Caazapá, Ñeembucu and one record from Presidente Hayes), north Argentina (Corrientes) south to 28°34’S (Codesido and Fraga 2009) and, since 2004, north and central Uruguay (Azpiroz & Menéndez 2008). It was widespread in Brazil, but has declined dramatically with recent sightings from Serra da Canastra, Alfenas and Poços de Caldas (Minas Gerais), and near Itirapina (São Paulo) (T. A. de Melo Júnior in litt. 1998), with a possible record from Lages (Santa Catarina). In Paraguay, surveys in 1995-1998 discovered important populations at Yabebyry (Misiones), Isla Yacyretá, Ñu Guazú (both Itapúa) and Tapytá (Caazapá) (Clay et al. 1998, R. P. Clay in litt. 1999, Lowen et al. 1996), with singing males at a further 10 sites (R. P. Clay in litt. 1999). These sites, with San Juan Bautista (Corrientes) and Serra da Canastra, may now represent the species's strongholds. However, recent fieldtrips to Yabebyry (Misiones) and Isla Yacyreta (Itapúa) resulted in no observations of the species. It has however recently been found at two new localities: Estancia Lago Ypoa (Paraguarí) and Estancia Guazú Cuá (Ñeembucu) (Codesido and Fraga 2009).

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
Despite the lack of quantitative data on trends or recent population estimates, the continuing threats posed to occupied habitats suggest that rapid population declines are likely to be occurring.

It primarily inhabits dry grasslands, occasionally wandering into inundated areas. Displaying males have been found in new (but not more mature) Eucalyptus plantations (R. P. Clay in litt. 1999). It appears to tolerate (and may actually prefer) short grass regenerating after grassland burns or lightly grazed pastureland (Coutinho 1982, Lowen et al. 1996, Fraga 2001, Codesido and Fraga 2009). However, it cannot tolerate annual burning of grasslands (Parker and Willis 1997). Breeding is probably biannual, and has been reported in October in Argentina (Fraga 2001).

By 1993, two-thirds of the Cerrado region had been heavily or moderately altered, mostly since 1950 (Conservation International 1999). In Brazil, intensive grazing, invasive grasses, annual burning and conversion to Eucalyptus, soybeans and exportable crops (encouraged by government land reform) have had a severe impact (Parker and Willis 1997). Argentine and Paraguayan grasslands are similarly threatened, especially by conversion to Eucalyptus and flooding caused by the Yacyretá dam (Pearman and Abadie 1995, Lowen et al. 1996). Conversion of grasslands to ricefields and increasing fire frequency are also considered serious threats in Paraguay (Lesterhuis, A.J. & del Castillo, H. in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is protected by law in Brazil and Paraguay. It occurs in Serra da Canastra National Park (Brazil) (T. A. de Melo Júnior in litt. 1998), San Juan Poriahú Private Reserve (Argentina) (Fraga 2001) and the nominally protected Yabebyry, Isla Yacyretá, San Rafael National Park and Tapytá (Paraguay) (Lowen et al. 1996, Clay et al. 1998, R. P. Clay in litt. 1999). The preference for burnt areas in Brazil means that it disappears from strictly protected reserves such as Itirapina (Parker and Willis 1997). A study of the ecology of this species is under way at Isla Yacyreta (Paraguay) (Lesterhuis, A.J. & del Castillo, H. in litt. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey historical Brazilian localities (with knowledge of its voice), especially Carazinho and São Francisco de Paula in Rio Grande do Sul. Monitor populations under different management schemes, with particular reference to fire regimes and grazing intensities. Create a reserve network to protect Paraguayan and Argentine populations. Ensure the protection of grasslands within San Rafael National Park, Paraguay. Remove incentives for afforesting grasslands. Conduct further studies of distribution, abundance and trends in Paraguay.

Azpiroz, A. B.; Menéndez, J. L. 2008 . Three new species and novel distributional information for birds in Uruguay. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club 128(1): 38–56.

Clay, R. P.; Capper, D. R.; Mazar Barnett, J.; Burfield, I. J.; Esquivel, E. Z.; Fariña, R.; Kennedy, C. P.; Perrens, M.; Pople, R. G. 1998. White-winged Nightjars Caprimulgus candicans and cerrado conservation: the key findings of project Aguará Ñu 1997. Cotinga: 52-56.

Codesido, M.; Fraga, R. M. 2009. Distributions of threatened grassland passerines of Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, with new locality records and notes on their natural history and habitat. Ornitologia Neotropical 20: 585-595.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Conservation International. 1999. Açoes prioritárias para a conservaçao da biodiversidade do Cerrado e Pantanal.

Coutinho, L. M. 1982. Ecological effects of fire in Brazilian cerrado. In: Huntley, B.J.; Walker, B.H. (ed.), Ecology of tropical savannas, pp. 273-291. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Fraga, R. M. 2001. The avifauna of Estancia San Juan Poriahú, Iberá Marshes, Argentina: checklist and some natural history notes. Cotinga 16: 81-86.

Lowen, J. C.; Bartrina, L.; Clay, R. P.; Tobias, J. A. 1996. Biological surveys and conservation priorities in eastern Paraguay (the final reports of Projects Canopy '92 and Yacutinga '95). CSB Conservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Parker, T. A.; Willis, E. O. 1997. Notes on three tiny grassland flycatchers, with comments on the disappearance of South American fire-diversified savannas. Ornithological Monographs 48: 549-555.

Pearman, M.; Abadie, E. I. Undated. Mesopotamia grasslands and wetlands survey, 1991--1993: conservation of threatened birds and habitat in north-east Argentina.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomoía y la categoría de la Lista Roja de la UICN pudo haber cambiado desde esta publicación.

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Gilroy, J., Pople, R., Sharpe, C J

Clay, R., Lesterhuis, A., de Melo Júnior, T., del Castillo, H.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Anthus nattereri. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Ochre-breasted pipit (Anthus nattereri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Motacillidae (Wagtails and pipits)
Species name author Sclater, 1878
Population size 6000-15000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 70,900 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species