The American Pipit is another bird, like the Yellow-rumped Warbler, that commonly gathers in flocks, yet shows up here in the park as a solo bird, or sometimes in a pair. At first sight it resembles a sparrow. It pecks at the ground and moves quickly, like sparrows do. But the long thin pointy beak and the frequent dipping of the tail quickly set it apart. The rusty color, at least in the early light, also helps to define it.
Pipits nest in the far north and at high altitudes. They come south when that all freezes over, and spend a month or two or three getting fat for the trip back north. They’ll eat whatever’s available — bugs by preference, but seeds will do them just fine.