Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus)


French: Pipit à gorge rousse German: Rotkehlpieper Spanish: Bisbita gorjirrojo

Motacilla cervina


, 1811,

Kolyma, Siberia, north Russia


Possibly forms a clade with A. pratensis, A. roseatus, A. spinoletta, A. petrosus and A. rubescens. Birds from W Eurasia (E to Taymyr Peninsula) average slightly larger and show more contrasting plumage, thus sometimes recognized as race rufogularis; variation, however, apparently clinal. Monotypic.


N Holarctic, mostly N of Arctic Circle, in narrow band from N Fennoscandia E to NE Russia (Chukotskiy Peninsula, S to Kamchatka, Commander Is and N Kuril Is) and extreme NW USA (W Alaska). Winters predominantly in Africa (mostly S of Sahara) and SE Asia.

Descriptive notes

14–15 cm; 16·4–29·3 g. Distinctive pipit with seasonal differences in plumage. Male in breeding plumage has deep buffish-pink supercilium, buffish-... read more


Song, usually in flight, a short series of variable notes followed by several phrases of very thin... read more


Breeds in willow (Salix) mires with many small creeks, sedge (Carex) marshes and... read more

Food and feeding

Prey mainly insects, also other invertebrates, and some vegetable matter. Recorded items include mayflies (Ephemeroptera), dragonflies and... read more


Laying early Jun to mid-Jun or Jul in N of range; from end May in S. In song flight, male rises obliquely to c. 20 m, makes parachuting... read more


Long-distance migrant. European breeders migrate mainly to sub-Saharan Africa, in a broad band from... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to very common; one of the most numerous bird species in arctic tundra. Recent population estimates are 500–20,000... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S. (2019). Red-throated Pipit (Anthus cervinus). 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 17 November 2019).