Rock Pipit

Rock Pipit


Profile Rock Pipit
[order] Passeriformes |

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Motacillidae | [latin] Anthus petrosus | [UK] Rock Pipit | [FR] Pipit maritime | [DE] Strandpieper | [ES] Bisbita Costera | [IT] Spioncello montano | [NL] Oeverpieper

Oeverpieper determination

copyright: N. Kipling

Quite large pipit with more robust form than smaller pipits. Shares Water Pipit’s mottled upperparts, and dark bill and legs, but differs in grey and white or smoky outer tail-feathers, dusky underparts.

Ranges from middle to upper latitudes in temperate, boreal, and arctic zones, rarely penetrating more than a short distance inland and almost entirely attached to rocky sea-cliffs and crags, rarely much higher than 100 m and often down to shore level. Avoids totally exposed situations, preferring sheltered gullies or inlets, and islands, even far offshore.

Anthus petrosus breeds only in Europe, where it occurs in coastal areas of the northwest
and Fennoscandia. Its European breeding population is relatively large (>110,000
pairs), and was stable between 1970-1990. Although the species declined in the United
Kingdom and Sweden during 1990-2000, populations were stable or increased across
the majority of its range-including the Norwegian stronghold-and the species
probably declined only slightly overall.

Mainly invertebrates also some plant material. Feeds mainly on ground, but occasionally catches insects in flight by making short leaps or flying from perch. in cold spells in high mountains during breeding season, feeds around burrow-entrances of marmots.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 100,000-1,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 230,000-580,000 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]

Nest site is in hole or hollow in cliff, from near base to top, or under thick vegetation, never far from shore. Nest as Water Pipit with inclusion of seaweed as material, building by female. 4-6 eggs, incubation 14-15 days by female only.

Faeroes population winters almost exclusively within breeding range. Most 1st-year birds from Fair Isle leave in autumn, and move south to Scotland or even Netherlands. Populations of mainland Britain and Ireland are basically resident with local dispersive movements, birds appearing away from breeding areas from September. Baltic and northern populations vacate breeding areas in winter, moving between WSW and south to Britain, Iberia, and western Mediterranean. Some birds reach North Africa.


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 24 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 26 cm
  4. size min.: 15 cm
  5. size max.: 18 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 14 days
  8. incubation max.: 15 days
  9. fledging min.: 15 days
  10. fledging max.: 16 days
  11. broods 2
  12. eggs min.: 4
  13. eggs max.: 6
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Oeverpieper status Least Concern
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