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Richard's Pipit - BirdForum Opus

Photo by BIJ
Yeyahu Nature Reserve, Beijing, China, May 2009
Anthus richardi


Subspecies A. r. sinensis
Photo © by BIJ
Gongping Dahu NR, Guangdong,PRC
30 October 2011

17-20 cm (6¾-7¾ in)

  • Upperparts brown with dark streaks
  • Underparts pale apart from streaky breast
  • Face:
  • Long yellowish-brown legs
  • Long tail with white outer-feathers
  • Long dark bill with a yellowish base to the lower mandible
  • Two wingbars formed by pale tips to the wing-coverts
  • Very long hind claw is diagnostic
Subspecies A. r. centralasiae in winter
Photo by Alok Tewari
Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India, Dec-2010

Confusion Species

Plumage similar to juvenile Tawny Pipit, to Blyth's Pipit, Paddyfield Pipit and Eurasian Skylark


Southern Siberia, Mongolia, parts of central Asia and in northern, central and eastern China.

Rare, but regular, autumnal vagrants from Siberia, mainly to western Europe


This species was formerly a part of a much larger species called Anthus novaseelandiae which was split in African Pipit, Mountain Pipit, Paddyfield Pipit, Richard's Pipit and Australasian Pipit.


There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • A. r. richardi:
  • A. r. dauricus:
  • Transbaikalia to Sea of Okhotsk, northern Mongolia; north-eastern China; winters in southern Asia
  • A. r. centralasiae:
  • A. r. ussuriensis:
  • A. r. sinensis:
  • South-eastern China (south of the Yangtze River)


Wet grassland, marshy steppes rice fields and cultivated land.



Strong flight with long dips. Often hovers momentarily before landing in the grass.


Its diet includes insects and seeds.


The nest is made of grass or moss and is built on the ground under a grass tussock.


Loud, explosive shreep when flushed.

Flight call
Recording by Andrew Whitehouse
Aberdeen, November 2009


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition

Recommended Citation

External Links

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