Meadow Pipit - Anthus pratensis


A small, brown, streaky bird, it is the commonest songbird in upland areas and its high, piping call is a familiar sound. In flight it shows white outer tail feathers and in the breeding season it has a fluttering 'parachute' display flight.

Identification difficulty

Found in open country - upland moors to salt marshes in summer, more agricultural land and marshes in winter. Will even come to suburban parks and playing fields.

When to see it

All year round. In summer most common in upland areas which become deserted in winter as birds move to more lowland habitats, some migrating to Continental Europe.

Life History

It feeds on insects such as flies, beetles and moths, and other invertebrates such as spiders.

UK Status

Found across the UK but commonest in the west and north. In winter it moves south, to more lowland areas and becomes much commoner in the southern half of the UK.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map

Species profile

Common names
Meadow Pipit
Species group:
Records on NatureSpot:
First record:
29/04/2005 (Nicholls, David)
Last record:
19/01/2024 (Gillett, Neil)

Total records by month

% of records within its species group

10km squares with records

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