Olive-Backed Pipit

Olive-Backed Pipit


Profile Olive-Backed Pipit
[order] Passeriformes |

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Motacillidae | [latin] Anthus hodgsoni | [UK] Olive-Backed Pipit | [FR] Pipit à dos olive | [DE] Waldpieper | [ES] Bisbita de Hodgson | [IT] Prispolone indiano | [NL] Groene Boompieper

Groene Boompieper determination

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Small but sleek pipit, with behaviour most recalling Tree Pipit. Upperparts noticeably pale green-olive, with only faintly streaked back and plain rump; underparts noticeably clean, with ground-colour mainly white and beautifully decorated with evenly spread lines of large black spots. Face also well marked, with broad pale buff fore and white rear supercilium and (on most) white and black rear cheek spots. Bill rather small; black-horn above, flesh- or buff-horn below. Legs flesh-pink; feet with short hind claw like Tree Pipit.

For breeding occupies large slot in upper middle and middle latitudes broadly below range of Pechora Pipit and complementing (with extensive overlap) that of Tree Pipit, which covers nearly all corresponding part of west Palearctic, from boreal through temperate zones to subtropics. Northern population spreads through coniferous taiga forest, mainly in its sparser sections and at its edges along river banks and on fringes of bogs and marshes, but also in birchwoods, alder thickets, and larch groves. In winter, in south-east Asia, resorts to coffee plantations, mango groves, and other suitable wooded terrain; also found on ground under trees at forest edge, on forest footpaths, and along shady highways or on outskirts of villages.

Anthus hodgsoni has a predominantly Asian distribution, but its breeding range
extends just west of the Urals into north-east European Russia. Its European breeding
population is relatively small (

Chiefly insects in summer and seeds in winter. Feeds on ground amongst low herbage. In Philippines in winter, frequently feeds in pines, walking along branches probing for insects among needles and cones.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 50,000-100,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). 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]

Breeding in Western Siberia from June-August. Normally two broods. Nest is built on ground, in shelter of rock or tuft of vegetation. Nest is a shallow depression containing cup of moss and grass, lined with fine grass and hair. Clutch size 4-5 eggs and an incubatin period of 12-13 days. The young leave the nest at 11-12 days and are fed for at least 1-2 days further, by which time they can fly.

Winters from India, s China, s Japan, Taiwan and se Asia s to Greater Sunda Is. and Philippines. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 26 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 28 cm
  4. size min.: 13 cm
  5. size max.: 15 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 12 days
  8. incubation max.: 13 days
  9. fledging min.: 0 days
  10. fledging max.: 0 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 4
  13. eggs max.: 5
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Groene Boompieper status Least Concern


  1. Anthus hodgsoni yunnanensis
  2. Anthus hodgsoni hodgsoni
  3. Anthus hodgsoni
  4. EU c, e
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