Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Upland Pipit (Anthus sylvanus)


French: Pipit montagnard German: Mattenpieper Spanish: Bisbita del Himalaya

Heterura sylvana


, 1845,

central Nepal


Slightly paler and less streaked birds from W part of range (Punjab region) described as race oreinus, but variation considered part of a cline. Monotypic.


From NW & N Pakistan (possibly from E Afghanistan) E in Himalayas at least to E Nepal, and in S & SE China (S Sichuan and from Yunnan E to Zhejiang and Fujian, also Hong Kong); possibly also N & NE Myanmar.

Descriptive notes

17 cm; 18·7 g. Large, streaked pipit with stout, relatively short bill. Has creamy supercilium, indistinct dark moustachial stripe and malar stripe; grey-brown above,... read more


Song, from prominent feature (e.g. rock, bush, tree) or in flight, a repeated “seetyu-seetyu... read more


In breeding season occurs on steep rocky and grassy slopes with scattered bushes or rocks, also on... read more

Food and feeding

Little known. Small invertebrates. Feeds on the ground, creeping in horizontal posture. When disturbed, often adopts upright stance and... read more


Breeds Mar–Jul. Occasional brief song flight, rising a short distance and then parachuting downwards on partly spread wings. Nest a... read more


Resident; some altitudinal movements. In winter, descends from highest areas of Himalayas, down to... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally fairly common in India, Nepal and China. Scarce to rare and localized in Pakistan, where occurs in only a few areas in N... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S. (2019). Upland Pipit (Anthus sylvanus). 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 23 March 2019).