© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Rock Pipit

Anthus petrosus

  • Family: Pipits and wagtails – Motacillidae
  • Appearance: A fairly stocky, darkish almost dirty-looking pipit with dark legs and a longer, darker beak than other pipits.
  • Size: Length 15.5–17 cm, weight 20–28 g. The largest pipit found in Finland.
  • Nest: Well concealed in a cleft in rock or among rocks, made of dry straw and moss, lined with grass.
  • Breeding: 3–6 eggs laid in May, insulated by female for 13 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 13 days. May raise a second brood.
  • Occurrence: Breeds on outer rocky islands. Finnish breeding population estimated at 1,500–2,000 pairs.
  • Migration: By day. Leaves Finland October–November, returning March–May after wintering around the North Sea or along the coasts of SW Europe. Occasionally seen in Finland in winter.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: In flight a chirpy “psriit”, song similar to that of Meadow Pipit but louder and harsher.

Rock Pipits are slightly larger than Meadow Pipits, and have darker and more uniform greyish brown colouring. They also have longer beaks, more distinct pale eyebrow stripes and greyish white edges to their dark tails. In summer their almost black legs are a good distinguishing feature, though in winter they become more dark brownish. Juvenile Rock Pipits in their first autumn have browner plumage with more spotted patterning. Rock Pipits have dark brown beaks and irises.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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