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Meadow Pipit

From Opus

Photo by Dave Whistle Photo taken: Norfolk, England
Photo by Dave Whistle
Photo taken: Norfolk, England
Anthus pratensis

Contents

[edit] Identification

Length 14–15.5 cm, weight 14.5–22 g
A small, brown, or olive, streaky pipit; the streaks becoming closely packed on the upper breast. White outer tail feathers. Indistinct facial pattern. Legs pinkish-yellow, with a distinct long hind claw.

[edit] Similar species

Tree Pipit and Rock Pipit

For differences between Eurasian Skylark and Meadow Pipit see this thread in Tips for New Birders Forum

[edit] Distribution

Photo by IanFSaltholme RSPB reserve, Cleveland, England, September 2010
Photo by IanF
Saltholme RSPB reserve, Cleveland, England, September 2010

Iceland, the Faroes and British Isles, and Europe. Very common in Iceland, the Faroes and British Isles, from north and central France east to the northern shores of the Black Sea and north to the whole of Fennoscandia and northern Russia including western Siberia. Isolated resident populations in the Apennines and Caucasus and has bred in the former Yugoslavia and Romania. Resident in the Faroes, British Isles and east to Denmark but elsewhere a summer visitor.

In winter occurs throughout western and southern Europe, north Africa, and southwest Asia; many birds undergo more local movements from upland to coastal areas. Main movements in August-October and April-May.

Vagrants recorded in Svalbard and Bear Island, the Azores and Madeira, and regular winter visitor in small numbers in Kuwait.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Treated as monotypic by some authorities[1], while some others accept two weakly defined subspecies[2]:

  • A. p. whistleri: slightly darker and more rufous above and buff below than nominate, following Gloger's rule.
  • A. p. pratensis:

[edit] Habitat

Open country including fields and farmland, marshes, meadows, heaths and moorland. Also on coastal grasslands, sand-dunes open beaches, especially in winter. Likes open country with plenty of vegetation - upland moorland, heathland, fens, grassland, flood meadows and coastal marshes.

[edit] Behaviour

Creeps about in longish grass.

Often sits on fence wires where long hind claw can be clearly seen

[edit] Flight

Rather erratic

[edit] Vocalisation

A high 'weesk weesk weesk'; a high accelerating song ending in a trill - given in flight.


Listen in an external program

[edit] References

  1. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2017. IOC World Bird Names (version 7.1). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  3. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

[edit] External Links

A few photos you see in additional images are of Tree Pipits. Although not mentioned above, the photos highlight how useful bill size can be in identification (with Tree having a more hefty bill)


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