Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni)


French: Pipit à dos olive German: Waldpieper Spanish: Bisbita de Hodgson

Anthus trivialis hodgsoni


, 1907,

Bengal, India


Appears to be very closely related to A. trivialis. Races intergrade in N Japan. Proposed race inopinatus (Sakhalin) indistinguishable from yunnanensis; berezowskii, described from Gansu (C China), inseparable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. yunnanensis#R Uchida & Nagamichi Kuroda, 1916 – NW Russia (from W of middle R Pechora, SW Siberia and NE Altai) E to Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Kuril Is, S to N Mongolia, NE China (S at least to Liaoning) and N Japan (Hokkaido); winters in S & SE Asia.
  • A. h. hodgsoni Richmond, 1907 – Himalayas (E from NW India) E to C China (S Xizang, and from NE Qinghai, S Inner Mongolia and Shanxi S to Sichuan and Yunnan), also N Korea and Japan (S to C Honshu); winters in S & SE Asia.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; 17–26·3 g. Nominate race has broad buffish-white to creamy supercilium bordered black above, rear ear-coverts with white spot above a black spot... read more


    Song, from treetop or in flight, a repetition of single trilled phrases and short dry rattles at... read more


    Breeds on edge of taiga, on grassy and bracken-covered slopes, rocky ground and glades in open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including adult and larval moths and butterflies (Lepidoptera), flies (Dip­tera), beetles (Coleoptera) and bugs (Hemiptera);... read more


    Season Jun–Aug in W Siberia (race yunnanensis); May to end Jul/Aug in S of range (nominate); normally double-brooded. In... read more


    N populations migrate to S parts of Asia, wintering from India E to SE China and S to N Malay... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to locally common. European population (NW Russia) estimated to be 35,000–40,000 breeding pairs. In N of range, highest recorded... read more

    Recommended citation

    Tyler, S. (2020). Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni). 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 29 February 2020).