French: Pipit spioncelle German: Bergpieper Spanish: Bisbita alpino
Subspecies and Distribution
A. s. spinoletta
(Linnaeus, 1758) – Western Water Pipit – mountains of C & S Europe; winters W & S Europe and NW Africa.
A. s. coutellii
Audouin, 1826 – #RCaucasian Water Pipit – N, S & E Turkey, Caucasus and mountains of N Iran and Turkmenistan (Kopet Dag); winters in neighbouring lowlands and S to NE Africa and Arabia.
A. s. blakistoni
Swinhoe, 1863 – Eastern Water Pipit – mountains of S Russia (E to Transbaikalia), Mongolia, E Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, NE Afghanistan and NW & C China (W Xinjiang, Qinghai); winters in Pakistan, NW India and S & SE China.
15–17 cm; 18·7–23 g. Nominate race in breeding plumage has mid-grey to brownish-grey forehead to nape and ear-coverts, contrasting broad whitish... read more
Song, from perch or in flight, a rattling and tinkling series of 4–5 segments, each of one... read more
Breeds on alpine pastures and high-lying mountain meadows with short grassland and scattered rocks... read more
Food and feeding
Invertebrates; some plant material. In W Europe prey includes springtails (Collembola), stoneflies (Plecoptera), crickets and grasshoppers... read more
Lays end Apr to early Jul in Europe; sometimes double-brooded. Mainly monogamous, occasionally polygynous or polyandrous. In song flight,... read more
Predominantly a short-distance or altitudinal migrant; regular migration from high mountains down... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common to fairly common. Patchy distribution in Europe due to altitudinal and habitat requirements, resulting in small... read more
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