Large and long, rather bright, buff, streaked pipit, with general character. In all plumages, indistinct cheek surround, rather pale hindneck, prominent median and greater covert panels, and orange-buff tone of whole underbody including under tail-coverts provide clues, but no clearly diagnostic characters yet established. Sexes similar, no seasonal variation
Breeds extralimitally in middle, lower middle, and low latitudes in continental steppe zone and in uplands and mountains. Occasionally on mountain slopes and permafrost ground and on very damp meadows, but typically differs in avoiding latter in favour of gravel or stony steppe, meadow steppe, and dry slopes.
Breeding range from eastern Altai (Russia) east to Manchuria and south to Tibet. Vagrant in Britain, October 1882 and 4 records October-December 1990-94. In Belgium: two, November 1986 and november 2005. In the Netherlands, one collected in November 1983. Norway: November 1995. Finland: 6 individuals, October-November, 1974-90 (probably now very rare but regular visitor). Israel: one Eilat, November 1987.
Diet mainly based on insects and other invertebrates, also seeds. Taken from among ground vegetation. Behaviour much as that of other grassland pipits.
This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘frequent’ in at least parts of its range (Grimmett et al. 1998). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
Laying in May, In display-flight, rises to 10-20m, hovers while singing, then descends steeply to ground.
Nest a well-camouflaged grass cup, on ground. 3-5 eggs. Incubation by female, 12-14 days.
Winters in peninsular India, Sri Lanka, the Andaman Islands and nw,s Burma, including Tenasserim. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)
- spanwidth min.: 28 cm
- spanwidth max.: 30 cm
- size min.: 16 cm
- size max.: 17 cm
- incubation min.: 12 days
- incubation max.: 14 days
- fledging min.: 0 days
- fledging max.: 0 days
- broods 1
- eggs min.: 3
- eggs max.: 5
- Conservation Status