Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardi)


French: Pipit de Richard German: Spornpieper Spanish: Bisbita de Richard

Anthus Richardi


, 1818,



A. novaeseelandiae, A. rufulus and A. cinnamomeus and present species all formerly treated as conspecific; recent DNA studies, however, do not support a close relationship between them. Race ussuriensis considered by some authors to be synonymous with sinensis; on other hand, all variation reportedly slight and apparently mainly clinal, thus species perhaps best considered monotypic#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. r. richardi Vieillot, 1818 – SW Siberia and NE Kazakhstan E to L Baikal; winters mainly in SW Asia, some farther W.
  • A. r. dauricus H. C. Johansen, 1952 – Transbaikalia and Yakutia E to Sea of Okhotsk and S to N Mongolia and NE China (NW Heilongjiang); winters in S Asia.
  • A. r. centralasiae (Kistiakovsky, 1928) – E Kazakhstan (Zaysan Basin, E Tien Shan) E to W & S Mongolia, S to N China (Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, probably also Inner Mongolia); winters in S Asia.
  • A. r. ussuriensis H. C. Johansen, 1952 – SE Russia (lower Amur area, Ussuriland) S to E China (S to Sichuan and R Yangtze), probably also Korea; winters in SE Asia.
  • A. r. sinensis (Bonaparte, 1850) – SE China S of R Yangtze; winters in SE Asia.
  • Descriptive notes

    17–18 cm; 21–40 g. Large pipit with long, stout legs, long toes, very long hind claw. Nominate race has long creamy to buff supercilium tapering at rear, pale... read more


    Song, usually in flight, “chewee-chewee-chewee” with much individual variation, 3... read more


    Any open country, steppe grassland, paddyfields, stubble fields and cultivations, edges of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly adult and larval insects, notably beetles (Coleoptera) and grasshoppers (Orthoptera). Of 48 samples obtained in studies using neck-... read more


    Mainly Apr–Jul. Sings in descending display-flight. Nest a large cup of coarse grass and roots, lined with finer material such as... read more


    Long-distance migrant; winters mostly in S parts of Asia E to Philippines and W New Guinea, and S... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common throughout most of range; no evidence for any decline.

    Recommended citation

    Tyler, S. (2020). Richard's Pipit (Anthus richardi). 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 25 February 2020).