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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



A small, brown, or olive, streaky bird; the streaks becoming closely packed on the upper breast. White outer tail feathers. Indistinct facial pattern. Long hind claw

Similar Species

Tree Pipit and Rock Pipit


Photo by tacumshinHook Head, Co Wexford, Ireland March 2009
Photo by tacumshin
Hook Head, Co Wexford, Ireland March 2009

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 Fenno-Scandia and northern Russia. 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 South-West Asia and 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.


Subspecies The nominate race is found throughout the region except in western Scotland and Ireland where it is replaced by the more richly-coloured race whistleri, more rufous above and buff below.


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.


Creeps about in longish grass.

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


Rather erratic


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

Listen in an external program


Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

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)


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

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