The New Zealand pipit is a small brown-and-white songbird that resembles a lark, but has longer legs, and walks rather than hops. They are birds of open country, including the tideline of sandy beaches, rough pasture, river beds and above the tree-line.
Pipits are members of the wagtail family, and frequently flick their long tails as they walk. In flight their tails have narrow white sides – a character shared with skylarks, chaffinches, yellowhammers and cirl buntings.
Pipits are omnivorous, consuming grains, seeds, and small invertebrates. Flying invertebrates taken include flies, mayflies, small butterflies and cicadas. Foraging methods adapt to the types of prey being targeted.