Richard’s pipit -- 理氏鹨 (Anthus richardi)

Richard's pipit perched in bush
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Richard’s pipit fact file

Richard’s pipit description

GenusAnthus (1)

A large pipit with a powerful bill, Richard’s pipit is noticeable for its long hind claws and upright stance (4), and a prominent dark eye stripe which results in a constant surprised, wide-eyed expression (5). The long, blunt bill is dark on the upper side and yellowish on the underside and at the base (5). The feathers on the back are dark brown, whilst the breast and part of the underside is tinged with reddish-brown. The outer tail feathers are white, a feature which distinguishes this species from other birds in the Anthus genus, which typically have cream-coloured outer tail feathers (5). The male and female of this species tend to look almost identical in terms of size and weight; the female, however, is slightly less tinged with red on the underside (2). The call of Richard’s pipit is a loud and somewhat grating shreep noise (4).

Pipit de Richard.
Length: 17 – 20 cm (2)
Wingspan: 29 – 33 cm (2)
31 g (3)

Richard’s pipit biology

Typically a solitary bird (8), Richard’s pipit feeds on a varied diet of insects, larvae and seeds (9). While a powerful flier, it spends the majority of its time on the ground, preferring to both nest and forage at ground level (10) (11).

Breeding takes place during the early summer months from May to June, when nests are built in existing hollows in the ground, such as the footprint left by a passing animal (12). If the nest becomes threatened both the male and female will attempt to lure unwanted intruders away with noticeable cries (12).


Richard’s pipit range

Richard’s pipit breeds in eastern Asia and migrates to southern Asia for winter (3) (6). It may also be seen in western Europe in autumn (7).


Richard’s pipit habitat

This species inhabits open, grassy, often wet, habitats, as well as areas of cultivation (4) (6), from sea level up to altitudes of 1,830 metres (6).


Richard’s pipit status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Richard’s pipit threats

Due to its extensive global distribution and stable population, Richard’s pipit is not currently considered to be threatened (1).


Richard’s pipit conservation

There are currently no specific conservation measures in place for Richard’s pipit.

Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi is a principal sponsor of ARKive. EAD is working to protect and conserve the environment as well as promoting sustainable development in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

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This species information was authored as part of the Arkive and Universities Scheme.


A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.


  1. IUCN Red List (March, 2010)
  2. Macgillivray, W. (1852) A History of British Birds, Indigenous and Migratory. William S Orr and Co, London.
  3. Robinson, R.A. (2005) BirdFacts: Profiles of Birds Occurring in Britain and Ireland. BTO Research Report 407, BTO, Thetford.
  4. Grewall, B., Harvey, B. and Pfister, O. (2002) A Photographic Guide to the Birds of India and the Indian Subcontinent. Princeton University Press, New Jersey.
  5. Bird Guides (November, 2009)
  6. Robson, C. (2007) Birds of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers, London.
  7. Perrins, C. and Attenborough, D. (1987) New Generation Guide: Birds of Britain and Europe. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.
  8. Peterson, R.T., Mountfort, G. and Hollum, P.A.D. (1993) A Field Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe. Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 
  9. Dempsey, E. and O’Clery, M. (2002) The Complete Guide to Ireland's Birds. Gill and Macmillan Ltd, Dublin.
  10. Meyer, H.L. (1857) Coloured Illustrations of British Birds and their Eggs. Willis and Sotheran, London.
  11. Morris, F.O. (1852) A History of British Birds. Groombridge and Sons, London.
  12. Lydekker, R. (1904) Library of Natural History. Saalfield, New York.

Image credit

Richard's pipit perched in bush  
Richard's pipit perched in bush

© Martin Hale

Martin Hale


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