Meadow Pipit by Rob Miller

Meadow Pipit

Anthus Pratensis

Key Facts

  • Length: 15cm
  • Wingspan: 24cm
  • Weight: 19g
  • Average Lifespan: 3 years

The meadow pipit is a very common nesting bird of moorland, heathland and rough grassland.

In the autumn and winter it moves out of upland areas to lowlands where it gathers in small flocks and can also be found on farmland and saltmarshes. In the spring it performs a fluttering, ‘parachute’ display flight. There are nearly 1.7 million breeding territories in Britain.

How to Identify

A small, streaky, yellow-brown bird, the meadow pipit has pale, flesh-coloured legs whereas the rock pipit has blackish legs. The tree pipit is very similar with a slightly stronger bill but they are very difficult to tell apart.

Where to find


How People Can Help

To ensure that we keep populations of songbirds like meadow pipits healthy, The Wildlife Trusts are working towards a ‘Living Landscape’: a network of habitats and wildlife corridors across town and country, which are good for both wildlife and people. You can support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.

Did you know?

In moorlands, meadow pipits are the most common ‘foster parents’ of young cuckoos. The adult cuckoo will lay a single egg in the meadow pipit’s nest. After hatching, the cuckoo chick will push the other eggs or young birds out of the nest, giving its foster parents more time to concentrate on feeding their new, oversized chick.

Similar Species