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Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 12:54 EDT

Rock Pipit

The Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus), is a passerine bird that is found on the rocky coasts of western Europe northwards from Brittany. It is a mainly resident bird in Ireland, Great Britain and France. Scandinavian and Russian populations of this species migrate south in winter.

Like most pipits, the Rock Pipit is an ordinary looking bird on the ground. It is mainly dark brown above and heavily streaked beige below. The legs are dark and the outer tail feathers are pale gray. The bill is also dark-colored. Its plumage is an adaptation to the rocky coasts on which it breeds. Western birds remain dark gray-beige all year. Eastern birds may show pinkish underparts and pale eye patch in summer months.

This species is insectivorous. Its call is an explosive “fit”. The song is a series of “blocks” of repeated more or less shrill cheeping single or double notes. It ends on a trill and has usually fewer, but longer-lasting “blocks”.

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Rock Pipit