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Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis) | by Brian Carruthers-Dublin-Eire
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Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis)

Meadow Pipit


Anthus pratensis


Riabhóg Mhóna


Status: One of the commonest bird species in Ireland, favouring rough pastures and uplands.


Conservation Concern: Green-listed in Ireland. The European popul;ation is considered to be Secure.


Identification: A very non-descript bird when seen in the field. Meadow Pipits are brown above with black streaking on a white breast and belly. The beak and legs are pinkish. It looks very similar to a Skylark, but that species is slightly larger than a Meadow Pipit and has a broad white stripe above the eye. Rock Pipit is dark grey on the back and has much denser dark streaking on the breast.


Similar Species: Skylark and Rock Pipit.


Call: A rapid “vist-vist-vist” call is given when alarmed or flushed from cover. Performs a short song flight from a post, which acts as a song. The bird flies straight up, before parachuting back down to the original post.


Diet: Feeds on Invertebrates such as craneflies, mayflies and spiders and to a lesser extent on seeds.


Breeding: Very widespread breeding species in Ireland, with around 500,000 to 1,000,000 pairs. Found in bogs, uplands and areas of scrub and pasture.


Wintering: Generally sedentary, but moves to lowland areas from breeding sites in uplands. Significant numbers of European birds move to Ireland in winter.


Where to See: Common throughout Ireland.

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Taken on March 1, 2014