Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Data Deficient

Long-tailed Pipit (Anthus longicaudatus)

Following the taxonomy applied to HBW Alive, derived from the HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, this taxon is no longer considered a valid species.


French: Pipit à longue queue German: Langschwanzpieper Spanish: Bisbita Colilargo

Anthus longicaudatus


, 1996,

Kimberley, South Africa


This might not be a valid species, since a recent study has shown that the available material in museums is in fact an amalgam of two other taxa: the syntype, a male paratype and two additional skins are inseparable from Anthus vaalensis, while a female paratype is an A. similis#R.


Little known. Occurs in austral winter in C South Africa: observed in Kimberley area (E Northern Cape-W Free State), and recorded also from near Colesberg (S of R Orange) and Beaufort West (E Western Cape). Probably breeds farther N, on Barotse floodplains in Zimbabwe.

Descriptive notes

15–16 cm; 30·2–34 g. Medium-sized to large, plain-backed pipit. Has broad off-white supercilium and submousta­chial stripe, dark eyestripe, narrow dark... read more


Single note uttered when flying away; unlike e.g. A. leucophrys, call not polysyllabic.


Breeding habitat unknown. In non-breeding area occurs on short dry grassland, including urban parks... read more

Food and feeding

Diet not known. Forages on ground in grass, as other pipits. In non-breeding area occurs in flocks of 10–40 individuals, often with... read more




Uncertain. Believed to migrate from presumed breeding grounds in Zimbabwe (Barotse floodplain) S to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Data Deficient. Very poorly known species, only recently described; taxonomic status appears doubtful. Unknown away from the... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S., de Juana, E. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Long-tailed Pipit (Anthus longicaudatus). 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 20 February 2020).