basic information

Tawny Pipit

Anthus campestris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Полевой конек | Түз жадырағы

Zholaman lowland, Almaty oblast
© Askar Isabekov


The Tawny Pipit is a little long-tailed and long-billed bird. It is distinguished from other Pipits by the very light sandy-pale color without streaks on the underparts or with faint streaks only on breast. The upperparts are sandy faintly streaked. The rear claw is a bit curved and equal or some longer on length the toe. The legs are buffy in distinction from off-pink or yellow-orange legs of other Pipits. It is specific feature of the Tawny Pipit to stand erect on looking about. Males and females are similar, the autumn plumage are almost same on spring one. At insufficient experience the juveniles may be confused with Richard's Pipit and other Pipits because they are darker and more streaked than adults. They are distinguished from Richard's Pipit by the less size, from other Pipits by the pale color, broad whitish supercilium and by the reddish tinged upperparts with the dark streaks and pale edges. Weight 18-27 grams, length 16-19, wing 8,3-9,8, wingspan 26-30 cm.


In Kazakhstan the Tawny Pipit lives almost throughout in steppes, semi-deserts and even in deserts and in mountains in places up to 2100 m. The detailed distribution in Kazakhstan please see in the chapter "Races".


The Tawny Pipit is common breeding migrant. Inhabits open arid countries with low thin grass in steppes; semi-deserts and stony or saline soil deserts; with some bushes or stones and rocks; both on plains and in mountains up to 1800-2000 m in Altai and 3000-3500 m in Talasskiy Alatau. During migration it visits the river and lake shores, hayfields, stubbles and other open habitats. Arrives mid March to early April in southern areas, and mid April to early May in northern ones, singly or in flocks of one-two dozen birds. Spring migration is over in the end May. Already on migration the males are singing. Breeds in separate pairs at several hundred meters each of other. Nest sets on the ground in shallow pit under the tussock, grass or bush; nest is made from the dry grass and is lined with thin grass and sometimes some hair and vegetation fluff. Clutches of 3-6 eggs appears between end April and mid July. Only female incubates for 13-15 days. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge at 11-12 days, from mid June to mid August. Two broods per season; and commonly repeated breeding after the loosing of the first nest by predators such as Steppe Viper (Erix miliaris) and Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Migration in northern parts of the range is inconspicuous, but in southern ones the flocks of several dozen birds are formed. Most birds migrate in August to early September. Last autumn migrants recorded early – mid October.


Anthus campestris campestris (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Description. Upperparts are darker, more brownish, less grey, than on griseus. The bill is medium-sized, rather thin.
    Distribution. Breeds in northern half of Kazakhstan plains, in south to Caspian Sea, lower Irgiz river, Karaganda and Zaysan depression. In south occurs on migration. Once upon a time obtained at Markakol lake.

Anthus campestris griseus (Nicoll, 1920)

    Description. Upperparts are paler, greyer and less brownish than on campestris.
    Distribution. Breeds and occurs on migration on plains and low mountains of southern Kazakhstan, in north up to Mangyshlak, Betpak-Dala, Nothern Trans-Balkhash area and Tarbagatay.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.
В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.
А.Ф.Ковшарь "Певчие птицы". Алма-Ата, "Кайнар", 1983.



Anthus campestris campestris
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Anthus campestris griseus
(Nicoll, 1920)

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