Wood pipit

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Wood pipit
Anthus nyassae, Cuanavale-rivier, Birding Weto, a.jpg
Not recognized (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Motacillidae
Genus: Anthus
Species: A. nyassae
Binomial name
Anthus nyassae
Neumann, 1906

The wood pipit or woodland pipit (Anthus nyassae) is a small passerine bird belonging to the pipit genus Anthus in the family Motacillidae. It was formerly included in the long-billed pipit (Anthus similis) but is now frequently treated as a separate species. It is a bird of miombo woodland in south-central Africa, unlike the long-billed pipit which inhabits open grassland. It perches in trees when flushed but forages on the ground for invertebrates.

It is 16-18 centimetres long. The upperparts are warm brown with dark streaks while the underparts are pale with some streaking on the breast. The bird has a dark eyestripe, white supercilium and pale outer tail-feathers. Juveniles have dark spots above and have more streaking below than the adults. The bird's song is high-pitched and monotonous.

The long-billed pipit is very similar but has a slightly longer bill and tail, a smaller pale area in the outer tail-feathers and a slightly lower voice.

The range of the wood pipit extends from south-east Gabon eastwards to southern and western Tanzania and southwards as far as north-east Namibia, northern Botswana, Zimbabwe and north-west Mozambique. At least three subspecies are recognized: A. n. nyassae, A. n. frondicolus and A. n. schoutedeni. Some authors recognize a fourth subspecies, A. n. chersophilus.


  • Sinclair, Ian & Ryan, Peter (2003) Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, Struik, Cape Town.
  • Van Perlo, Ber (1999) Collins Illustrated Checklist: Birds of Southern Africa, HarperCollins, London.

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