Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Pipilo maculatus is distributed throughout western U.S.A. and extreme southwestern Canada, as well as patchily in Mexico and Guatemala (del Hoyo et al. 2011). The subspecies consobrinus, endemic to Mexico's Guadalupe Island, is considered extinct, having not been recorded since the late 1800s (Kaeding 1905).
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Breeding

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: southern British Columbia, southern Alberta, and southern Saskatchewan south to southern California, northwestern Baja California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and through the Mexican highlands to Chiapas and central Guatemala, and east to the central Dakotas, north-central and western Nebraska, central Colorado, eastern New Mexico, and extreme western Texas; disjunctly in southern Baja California (AOU 1983, Greenlaw 1996). See Sauer et al. (2000) for large-scale mapped density estimates (range-wide) based on North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. NON-BREEDING: south coastal British Columbia, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado (casually farther north) south to Baja California, northern Sonora, through the Mexican breeding range to central Guatemala, and to south-central Texas (AOU 1983).

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Physical Description

Size

Length: 22 cm

Weight: 42 grams

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: BREEDING: Uses a wide variety of shrubby habitats characterized by deep litter and humus on ground, and sheltering vegetation overhead (Greenlaw 1996). Undergrowth of open woodland, forest edge, second growth, brushy areas, chaparral, riparian thickets, woodland (AOU 1998).

In northern Great Plains, found in shrubby riparian thickets along streams, rivers and coulees, also in woodland undergrowth. In interior mountains and plateaus, uses riparian thickets, open south-facing slopes of ridges, and canyon bottoms. In southern Rocky Mountains, common in pine-oak and pinyon-juniper forests, uncommon in mixed coniferous forests, and rare in ponderosa pine and aspen forests (Hejl et al. 1995). In Colorado pinyon-juniper woodlands, associated with moderately open areas on steep slopes with high shrub cover (Sedgwick 1987). In Pacific Northwest sometimes occurs in shrubby forest successional stages. In California Coast Range, found in chaparral and rose-blackberry thickets (ROSA-RUBRUS; Greenlaw 1996). In Mexico, uses typical brushy woodland and scrub, understory of pine forests and pine-oak woodlands, chaparral, semi-open areas with scattered bushes and brush (Howell and Webb 1995).

Associated with an extensive list of shrubby and thicket-forming plants, including: scrub oaks (QUERCUS spp.), Pinyon Pine (PINUS EDULIS), juniper (JUNIPERUS), yucca (YUCCA spp.), baccharis (BACCHARIS spp.), willow (SALIX spp.), senecio (SENECIO spp.), madrone (ARBUTUS spp.), rose (ROSA spp.), blackberry (RUBUS spp.), saltbush (ATRIPLEX spp.), mountain mahogany (CERCOCARPUS sp.), toyon (HETEROMELES ARBUTIFOLIA), elder (SAMBUCUS spp.), buckthorn (RHAMNUS spp.), sagebrush (ARTEMISIA spp.), snowberry (SYMPHORICARPOS spp.), chamise (ADENOSTOMA spp.), manzanita (ARCTOSTAPHYLOS spp.), sumac (RHUS spp.), Pacific poison-oak (RHUS DIVERSILOBA), ceanothus (CEANOTHUS spp.), and grape (VITIS sp.; Greenlaw 1996). In Mexico, also found in bushy composites (Greenlaw 1996).

Constructs a well-built cup nest in litter on ground, under bush or brush pile, clump of grass, or elevated in vines, trees, bushes, usually between 0.6 and 3.6 m from the ground. Often in relatively exposed conditions, though concealed by nearby plants (Greenlaw 1996; Baicich and Harrison 1997). Elevation of nests may be influenced by rainfall or predation (Greenlaw 1996).

NONBREEDING: Uses similar shrubby habitats and thickets in wintering areas. Nonbreeding birds may occur in areas where towhees do not breed (Greenlaw 1996). In Arizona, winters in Upper Sonoran foothills, in brushy canyons and river valleys of southeastern Arizona, and uncommonly in riparian woodland, willows and marshes along the lower Colorado River (Phillips et al. 1964, Rosenberg et al. 1991).

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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Migration patterns variable among different populations. Northern interior breeding populations are migratory or partly migratory; increasingly sedentary southward and near coastal areas. Migratory populations arrive in northern breeding areas in March-April (Terres 1980, Greenlaw 1996). Pacific Coastal birds mostly resident, although some in interior coast are short-distance migrants. In some areas summer residents migrate and are replaced by more northern birds that overwinter (Greenlaw 1996).

Spring arrival in northern parts of range between late March and mid-May; fall departure between early September and early October (Greenlaw 1996). Northern Great Plains populations winter in southwest New Mexico to southeast Texas and Mexico. South-central Rocky Mountain populations winter from Arizona to east-central Texas and Mexico. North Central Rocky Mountain birds winter from southern California to southeast Arizona (Greenlaw 1996).

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Forages on the ground beneath shrubs and undergrowth, using a two-footed scratching maneuver to find food among loose debris (Greenlaw 1996). Eats various invertebrates, seeds, small fruits, some small vertebrates (Terres 1980). Diet includes many types of beetles (Coleoptera); grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera); true bugs (Heteroptera); ants and wasps (Hymenoptera); flies (Diptera); butterflies and moths, including larvae (Lepidoptera); leafhoppers, aphids and allies (Homoptera); spiders (Araneae); millipedes (Diplopoda); and sowbugs (Isopoda; Greenlaw 1996). Commonly eats seeds and fruits, particularly in nonbreeding season, and sometimes blossoms and young leaves (Dahlsten et al. 1985, Greenlaw 1996). In California, stomach contents (N = 6) were 84.1% animal, 13.2% vegetable and 2.7% mineral (Dahlsten et al. 1985), but relative composition varies with season and locality (Greenlaw 1996). See Greenlaw (1996) for extensive list of plants found in diet. Less known about composition of diet in nonbreeding season, particularly types of invertebrate prey.

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

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Global Abundance

10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

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General Ecology

In nonbreeding season, forms loose flocks and can be somewhat gregarious. Family groups remain together throughout summer (Ehrlich et al. 1988). See Greenlaw (1996) for density estimates and patterns.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 10.7 years (wild)
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Reproduction

Clutch size usually 3-5 (range 2-6). Will renest if first broods suffer mortality, and second broods are uncommon. Incubation, entirely by female, lasts 12-14 days. Only female broods but both parents feed young and remove fecal sacs. Young leave nest unable to fly at 9-11 days; parents continue to feed dependent young out of nest for another 30 days (Ehrlich et al. 1988, Greenlaw 1996, Baicich and Harrison 1997). A host to brood parasites (see Threats above).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Pipilo maculatus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 15 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNATAGTAGGTACCGCCCTAAGCCTCCTCATTCGGGCCGAACTAGGCCAACCTGGAGCTCTCCTAGGAGACGACCAAATTTATAACGTAGTCGTCACAGCCCACGCTTTCGTGATAATTTTCTTCATAGTTATACCAATTATGATCGGAGGCTTCGGAAACTGACTAGTCCCCCTAATAATTGGAGCCCCAGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAATAACATAAGTTTCTGACTACTCCCCCCATCTTTCCTCCTCCTCCTAGCATCCTCCACCGTTGAAGCAGGCGCTGGCACAGGCTGAACAGTGTACCCACCACTAGCAGGCAACTTAGCCCACGCTGGAGCTTCAGTCGACCTCGCAATTTTCTCCCTACACCTAGCCGGTATCTCCTCAATCTTAGGAGCAATCAACTTCATCACAACAGCAATTAACATAAAACCCCCTGCCCTCTCACAATACCAGACCCCCCTATTTGTATGATCAGTCCTAATCACCGCAGTCTTACTACTCCTATCACTCCCAGTCCTCGCCGCAGGAATCACAATGCTCCTTACAGACCGCAACCTAAACACTACATTCTTTGACCCCGCTGGAGGAGGGNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pipilo maculatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 15
Specimens with Barcodes: 25
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

History
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
  • Not Recognized (NR)
  • Not Recognized (NR)
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