Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Golden Pipit (Tmetothylacus tenellus)


French: Pipit doré German: Goldpieper Spanish: Bisbita dorado

Macronix [sic] tenellus


, 1878,

Taita, south-east Kenya




SE South Sudan and NE Uganda, and from NW Somalia and E & SE Ethiopia S to E Kenya and NE & C Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

14–16 cm; male 18–21·5g, female 18–22 g. Distinctive motacillid with much yellow in wing and on side of tail; no feathering on lower tibia. Male... read more


Song, in flight or from perch, a series of sibilant or flute-like whistles, “dji-dji-dji-dji-... read more


Arid light acacia (Acacia) bush, and scrubby grassland; sometimes in very open grassland... read more

Food and feeding

Small insects, probably also other invertebrates. Forages in grassland; also takes items from herbage and bare ground. Frequently perches... read more


Lays in May in Ethiopia and Somalia; in Kenya, Jul on coast and Nov–Dec and Apr in SE; Nov in C Tanzania; mainly during rains, Dec... read more


Rather poorly understood; probably migrates regularly between N and S of range, as indicated by... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common in both NW & S Somalia, and locally common in Kenya and Tanzania; uncommon in S Sudan. In Tsavo National Park, in Kenya, reasonably high... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S. (2020). Golden Pipit (Tmetothylacus tenellus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 February 2020).