Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Least Concern

Woodland Pipit (Anthus nyassae)


French: Pipit forestier German: Waldlandpieper Spanish: Bisbita del Nyasa
Other common names: Wood Pipit

Anthus nicholsoni nyassae


, 1906,

between Sangesi and Songea, south Tanzania


Previously regarded as conspecific with A. similis, but genetic distinctiveness also now confirmed#R. Race winterbottomi of A. cinnamomeus has been treated by some authors as a synonym of nominate race of present species, or separated specifically with race latistriatus of A. cinnamomeus#R. Race chersophilus possibly inseparable from schoutedeni, and both possibly better merged with nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. n. schoutedeni Chapin, 1937 – SE Gabon and S Congo E to S DRCongo, S to SC & SE Angola.
  • A. n. nyassae Neumann, 1906 – Zambia, SW & SE Tanzania, Malawi and NW Mozambique.
  • A. n. chersophilus Clancey, 1989 – NE Namibia and N Botswana.
  • A. n. frondicolus Clancey, 1964 – Zimbabwe and adjacent S Mozambique.
  • Descriptive notes

    18 cm; 23·8–25·9 g. Fairly large pipit with rather upright posture. Nominate race has prominent whitish supercilium and submoustachial stripe, thin dark malar stripe;... read more


    Song, often from treetop, consists of short phrases, repeated, with modulations, at one-second... read more


    Broadleaf woodland savanna with lightly grassed understorey; especially miombo (Brachystegia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small invertebrates, also some seeds. Stomach contents have included grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), mantids, cockroaches (of genus... read more


    Little known. Lays before and during rains, but in dry season in miombo: Jan, Feb and Jul–Nov (mostly Sept–Nov) in Zimbabwe,... read more


    Believed to be sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Current status uncertain. Has been suggested that further destruction of miombo and other broadleaf woodlands could place this species at risk.

    Recommended citation

    Tyler, S. (2020). Woodland Pipit (Anthus nyassae). 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 29 February 2020).