Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris)


French: Pipit rousseline German: Brachpieper Spanish: Bisbita campestre

Alauda campestris


, 1758,



In the past was sometimes treated as conspecific with A. godlewskii. Variation largely clinal, in N becoming smaller and paler from W to E, and in S becoming larger and greyer from NW Africa to Greece and then smaller and greyer E of there; naming of geographical races considered unwarranted, contra HBW, thus griseus (described from Turkestan), kastschenkoi (Novosibirsk, W Siberia) and boehmii (Damavand, NC Iran) all subsumed within nominate for want of consistency in the characters used in their delimitation#R. Monotypic.


C & S Europe (Denmark and S Baltic S to Mediterranean countries) and NW Africa (Morocco E to Tunisia, possibly also SW Mauritania and NW Libya) E to NW & SC Mongolia and NW & SW Kazakhstan, and, in S, to N Afghanistan, Dzhungarskiy Alatau Mts, and extreme NW China (Tien Shan, in N Xinjiang); also locally in Middle East (Lebanon, S Syria, N Israel). Winters in sub-Saharan Africa (mainly in the Sahel), Arabia and SW Asia.

Descriptive notes

16·5–17 cm; 17–32 g, male average 29·5 g, female average 28 g. Fairly distictive pipit with rather uniform plumage, long tail and Motacilla... read more


Song, in flight or from perch, a disyllabic or trisyllabic note, e.g. “tzirléé... read more


Open dry habitats, from sand dunes, sandy heaths, dry grassland and clear-felled areas to... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects, also other invertebreates, and seeds; rarely, small vertebrates (reptiles). Recorded prey include grasshoppers and locusts... read more


Season mid-Apr to mid-Aug, earlier in N Africa and later in N Europe (mid-Jun in Sweden); in W Europe two laying peaks (mid-May to early... read more


Almost wholly migratory. W populations winter predominantly in Sahel zone in sub-Saharan Africa,... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common in much of range. Populations in W & C Europe have declined markedly following habitat loss from afforestation of... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris). 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 18 February 2020).