Family Pipits and Wagtails (Motacillidae)

Near Threatened

Yellow-tufted Pipit (Anthus crenatus)


French: Pipit des rochers German: Klippenpieper Spanish: Bisbita roquero
Other common names: African Rock Pipit

Anthus crenatus

Finsch and Hartlaub

, 1870,

near Cape Town, South Africa


Genetic data indicate a close relationship to A. lineiventris#R, although the two species differ widely in plumage characters and ecology. Monotypic.


South Africa from S & E Northern Cape and N Western Cape E in mountains to S Mpumalanga, W Swaziland and Lesotho (Drakensberg); also, isolated population in NC Northern Cape (lower R Orange).

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 29–32·5 g. Large, stocky, plain-backed pipit with heavy bill and legs, distinctive yellow edgings on wings. Has prominent buffish supercilium... read more


Song, from perch or in flight, a series of sweet disyllabic phrases repeated several times, second... read more


Mountains and karroid terrain (kopjes and dry stony hills), mainly above 1000 m, in S & W of... read more

Food and feeding

Diet little known. Recorded items include spiders (Araneae), grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and grass seeds (Gramineae). Forages on the ground,... read more


Few records. Laying during summer rains in Oct–Mar, mainly Nov–Jan; once in Aug in SW (winter-rainfall area). Monogamous;... read more


None known; apparent lack of seasonal gregariousness suggests strictly sedentary lifestyle.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Widely distributed and fairly common in suitable habitat; especially common in Lesotho, where reported as being... read more

Recommended citation

Tyler, S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Yellow-tufted Pipit (Anthus crenatus). 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 19 February 2020).