Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)


French: Pipit rousset German: Orientspornpieper Spanish: Bisbita oriental

Anthus rufulus


, 1818,

Bengal, India


See comments under A. richardi. Race albidus possibly indistinguishable from medius; also, birds from Lombok and Sumbawa (W Lesser Sundas) somewhat intermediate between former race and malayensis, with result that some authorities prefer to subsume both albidus and medius within malayensis, as well as waitei under the nominate#R. N Sulawesi population of uncertain racial identity, tentatively included in albidus. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. r. waitei Whistler, 1936 – NW Indian Subcontinent (C & E Afghanistan, Pakistan, NW India; two recent records in SE Iran#R).
  • A. r. rufulus Vieillot, 1818 – most of Indian Subcontinent (except NW, N and extreme SW) E to S China, S to S Thailand and Indochina.
  • A. r. malayensis Eyton, 1839 – extreme SW India (Nilgiri Hills), Sri Lanka, Malay Peninsula, S Indochina, Sumatra, Java and N & SE Borneo.
  • A. r. lugubris (Walden, 1875) – Philippines; possibly also N Borneo.
  • A. r. albidus Stresemann, 1912 – Sulawesi, Bali and W Lesser Sundas (Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Padar, Rinca, Flores, Sumba).
  • A. r. medius Wallace, 1864 – E Lesser Sundas (Sawu, Roti, Timor, Kisar, Leti, Moa, Sermata).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 17·4–22·7 g. Nominate race has long creamy to buff supercilium tapering at rear, pale lores (occasionally darkish loral stripe), dark... read more


    Song, in flight, includes a wheezy trill or series of feeble “tseep” notes, on average... read more


    Open country, short grassland, paddyfields, stubble fields and cultivations, also airfields,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly adult and larval insects. Stomach contents included weevils (Curculionidae), ants (Hymenoptera), termites (Isoptera), bugs (... read more


    Mar–Jul, occasionally to Sept, in N Indian Subcontinent; mostly in Nov–Jun dry season elsewhere, in Sri Lanka Jan–Jul (... read more


    Resident; some local and altitudinal movements. A summer visitor in the Himalayan foothills (race... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common throughout most of range; generally uncommon, locally more common, in Wallacea. No evidence for any decline in any region.

    Recommended citation

    Tyler, S. (2020). Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus). 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).