Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)

Tawny Pipit

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Motacillidae | [latin] Anthus campestris | [UK] Tawny Pipit | [FR] Pitpit rousseline | [DE] Brachpieper | [ES] Bisbita Campestre | [NL] Duinpieper


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Anthus campestris EU c, w AF, s Asia
Anthus campestris campestris
Anthus campestris griseus
Anthus campestris kastschenkoi

Physical charateristics

Noticeably long, slim pipit, with size, form and appearance suggesting pale wagtail. Long, rather fine bill and legs form useful characters.
Adult shows diagnostic combination of pale supercilium, virtually unstreaked chest, bold wing covert bars contrasting with indistinct markings on rest of upperparts, and tail broadly edged white.
Flight like wagtail, with less powerful action and slighter undulations than other large pipits.

Listen to the sound of Tawny Pipit

[audio:http://www.aviflevoland.nl/sounddb/T/Tawny Pipit.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 25 cm wingspan max.: 28 cm
size min.: 16 cm size max.: 18 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 13 days fledging max.: 13 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Eurasia : Central, West


In lower middle and middle continental latitudes, from Mediterranean and steppe through temperate zones, preferring dry but not arid ground.
Avoids steep or rocky terrain, water obstacles, tall or dense vegetation, from forest to wetland, cropland, or shrub growth.
Favoured habitats tend to be more frequent in sunny continental lowlands, but locally occur at 2.5 km in Armenia, and extralimitally even to 3.5 km in Balkhash region.


Breeding starts May-June in Western Europe, April in North Africa. Nest site on ground in shallow hollow, often under plant tuft.
Nest is a cup of grass stems and leaves, and roots, lined with finer plant material and hair. open side of nest usually faces east or north, building mainly by female.
Clutch size 4-5 eggs incubated for about 12 days by female only.

Feeding habits

Diet chiefly insects, also seeds, mainly in winter. Feeds on ground and amongst low herbage, taking insects in stop-run-peck manner like small plover, occasionally leaping up or rarely after brief aerial pursuit.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Tawny Pipit status Least Concern


Essentially migratory. Within breeding range, wintering occurs only in Aegean region and locally in Turkey and Levant.
West Palearctic race winters in Africa and Arabia, eastern races in southern Afghanistan and India, with griseus also in Arabia.
West Palearctic race campestris in Africa, winters mainly in Sahel zone south of Sahara, but in the east, where southward movement not impeded by tree savanna or forest, normal range extends south almost to the equator.
East Palearctic races griseus, kastschenkoi and Kastschenkoi of central Asia winters only in N-E India.

Distribution map

Tawny Pipit distribution range map

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