Belongs to: larks and pipits

Compare with: tree pipit

Meadow pipit Anthus pratensis

BoCC Amber list


Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Small brown bird typical of open rough dry grassland

Habitat: open locations with enough coarse vegetation for nesting, especially coast and estuary

Resident, widespread and common in coastal areas but declining inland

Recognition

Buff breast and white belly with dense streaking, white outer tail; 14–15 cm

Perches openly on hedges and fences, flying to ground and walking about, feeding on insects

Territorial song flight in spring and summer is an accelerating trill as they climb up then glide downwards

Lifecycle

Nest is a grass cup lined with hair, on the ground in coarse vegetation

Usually 2 broods of 3–5 eggs, variable in colour, late April to June

Many winter in France or Spain

  • Main photo

Photo © Alan Williams