Photographing The Meadow Pipit

The meadow pipit can be found in open landscapes. Find out more below.

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Meadow pipit

Image by Kev Chapman (Lizenz: CC BY 2.0)


Meadow pipits are about 15cm tall. Their wings are olive brown with a dark brown stripe pattern. Their chest and abdomen are white with the same kind of pattern that can be seen more easily with a bright background. The head has a delicate white supercilium, the beak is dark, straight and quite thin and the legs are pink. The long foot is also striking even if it is not immediately apparent. There is no visible difference between the male and the female. Many people confuse the meadow pipit with the tree pipit, which is not surprising, as the two species look very similar. However, the tree pipit is slightly larger than the meadow pipit. It also has a stronger beak and more yellowish breast.



The meadow pipit has a fairly large breeding area, which extends mainly over the north of Europe and Asia. It ranges from the region around Greenland and Iceland to Western Siberia, to the west of the British Isles and northern France. To the south they are in Ukraine, Slovakia and Poland. Meadow Pipit are short and medium distance migrants, which means that they spend the cold months a relatively short distance from their breeding grounds. Some even remain in the northern regions of Europe, but the majority go to the Mediterranean Sea.


Photographing tips

The meadow pipits sing a hectic, sharp "iiiht-iht-iht". Their flight can be described as "jumping” as it looks a bit flighty and uncertain. During summer, meadow pipit feed mainly on insects and arachnids. In winter, seeds and small snails are added. Meadow pipits like most grasslands, moors and heaths - ie areas with enough ground vegetation but where they can still have a good view. In fact, they like sitting on higher shrub or fence posts. In most cases, a body of water is located near their territories.

In Germany, the number of meadow pipits follow a negative trend. This is due, among other things, to intensive agriculture. However, they can be spotted in the Bavarian Rhön. Various projects are run to give them back an attractive place to live and to protect them, such as the Species Conservation Plan for Hessen.

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