Birds – The Meadow Pipit

Birds – The Meadow Pipit

The Meadow Pipit

The Meadow Pipit male

In this article we will see: “The Meadow Pipit “, birds, diverse and captivating, grace our skies with their melodies. From vibrant plumage to impressive flights, they captivate with endless wonders.

Birds – The Meadow Pipit

Brief Background

Description: Length: 14 cm; folded wing: 76-85 mm; wingspan: approximately 25 cm; tail: 53-63 mm; beak: 12 mm. Weight: 18 g.

Appearance and Behaviour

Adults: Upperparts mottled brown-gray with black streaks; flight feathers with lighter edges; a faint pale eyebrow stripe and pale area below the cheek; dark brown-black tail with white outer rectrices; underparts whitish to grayish, sometimes tinged with yellowish-green and speckled with black; brown beak; black eyes; brown legs.

Is there a bird more discreet, even more invisible? Although it remains in the open and does not try to hide, nothing gives away the presence of the Meadow Pipit. Humbly dressed in blended shades of brown, gray, and white, it completely disappears effortlessly into its surroundings. Yet, it does not hesitate to perch in plain view, especially the male who enjoys singing while perched on a clump of earth, a fence post, or a stone. On the ground, the Meadow Pipit trots in small quick steps. In flight, it alternates rapid and ascending wingbeats with brief descending glides, giving the bird an undulating trajectory.

This species prefers humid areas and always seeks great visibility. It typically inhabits low moorlands where the view is unobstructed, sparse grassy cliffs, fallow lands, meadows, and waterlogged pastures.

The Meadow Pipit female


During the warmer seasons, the Meadow Pipit takes advantage of abundant insects, spiders, larvae, and small mollusks as its diet. In autumn and winter, it consumes seeds of herbaceous plants.

The Meadow Pipit 's voice sample

While the Meadow Pipit often goes unnoticed, it is difficult not to hear it as the monotonous “pipit-pipit-pipit-pipit” calls are part of the soundscape. However, these calls are only an indication of its presence, and finding the bird remains a challenge.


In March, males begin their courtship displays above the nesting site. First, they ascend while uttering “ssi-ssi-ssi” calls, reaching a height of about 20 m, and then descend toward the ground with spread wings and fanned tail, emitting “tsisisississississ” calls that blend into a single note. The female constructs the nest using dry, long grasses arranged in a deep cup. Well-concealed, the nest is built under a tuft of grass, heather, or sheltered by a overhanging turf. The typical clutch consists of 5 eggs and is laid in May.

The Meadow Pipit 's eggs

The Meadow Pipit’s eggs

The eggs have a gray to greenish-gray background, densely speckled and spotted with brown and dark gray, especially at the blunt end. Average size: 14 x 19 mm; weight: 2 g. The female alone incubates the eggs for 13 days. Afterward, both adults participate in rearing the young, which leave the nest at the age of 2 weeks. There is often a second clutch in July.


In mid-September, Meadow Pipits migrate south. They travel in groups during the day and stop wherever food is abundant. Many individuals winter in the Iberian Peninsula, while the more adventurous ones reach North Africa.


The Meadow Pipit breeds from France (excluding the south) to Lapland and from Iceland to Siberia, with a small population established on the southeast coast of Greenland.

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A final word

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