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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.
- Family: Pipits and wagtails – Motacillidae
- Appearance: Reminiscent of Meadow Pipit, but more prominently streaked, especially on upper parts. Distinctive whitish streaks on back. Beak slender with a yellowish or greyish base.
- Size: Length 14–15 cm, weight 19–23 g.
- Nest: Beside a grassy tussock, made of dry grasses and sedges, lined with reindeer hair and pieces of straw.
- Breeding: 4–7 eggs laid in June, incubated by female for 11–14 days. Young leave nest after 11–12 days.
- Distribution: Scarce breeder in open marshy bogs in Lapland. Finnish breeding population estimated at 1,000–2,000 pairs. Numbers have declined steeply in recent decades.
- Migration: Diurnal. Leaves Finland August–September, returns May–June. May be seen on migration in Southern Finland in autumn, but only rarely in spring. Winters in tropical regions of Africa.
- Diet: Invertebrates.
- Calls: A shrill “psiii”. Sing similar to that of Tree Pipit, but more gentle.
Classed as vulnerable in Finland, which is home to 70% of the species breeding population within the EU. Total European population (also including populations in Norway and Russia) estimated at 1–3 million pairs.
In their summer plumage Red-throated Pipits have rusty-coloured patches on their throats. On mature males these patches extend to their cheeks and chests, but on females these markings are less extensive, and juveniles and birds in their winter plumage lack any red colouring. In autumn Red-throated Pipits can be hard to distinguish from Tree Pipits, but the pronounced streaks along their caps, backs, rumps, chests and flanks give them a much more striped appearance overall. Red-throated pipits have yellowish-brown legs, dark brown eyes, and dark brown beaks with a yellowish base.