Meadow Pipit (Anthus Pratensis) Bird Introduction


Like all pipits, the meadow pipit bird has a diet of insects, mostly taken as it ambles about (walking, not hopping) on the ground. All pipits nest at ground level, making a little grassy cup on the ground amidst longer grassland, where they lay one or two clutches of four or five eggs a year. Only the red-throated pipit of eastern Europe never produces a second brood; something which is only possible in the longer breeding season allowed by our more temperate western climates.

Bird History

The pipits are a family of rich variety in many aspects, but unfortunately not in their appearance! With minor variations, they are all basically like so many little brown birds, impossible at a glance to tell apart. Understandably, it was only relatively recently, in the 18th century, that ornithologists learnt to differentiate between the various British pipit species.

The migratory schedules of pipits and the habitats reflected in their names are the key distinctions. In places and at times when two may overlap, the song is the identifying feature. The tree pipit, for example, has a harsher “treese” call than the meadow pipit, and ends its descending flight song with a very distinctive ‘ ‘see-ya see-ya see-ya”. The rock pipit has a similar call and song to the meadow pipit’s, but a fuller more rounded voice.

Meadow Pipit Bird Information and Facts



Meadow pipit is a speckled brown bird. Greeny brown upperparts, off-white underparts with long dark brown streaks; unusually long hind-claws, dark pink-brown legs, lighter pink in juveniles.


The bird size is around 14cm (15 in).


Meadow pipit gets its name from the shrill seep-seep-seep, called from the ground, low shrub or ascending flight; descending flight accompanied by a song of accelerating tinkling notes ending in a trill.


Any open ground where there is grass, from heathland to sand-dune.


All year throughout Britain and Ireland, commoner in the north and west.

Similar Species

Meadow pipit bird may not be confused with the woodlark (which has a shorter tail); the skylark (slightly larger, has a crest); the tree pipit (yellower brown upperparts, paler legs, calls from trees); and the rock pipit (coastal habitat greyer, slightly larger).

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