Anthus pratensis | Meadow Pipit | Riabhóg Mhóna



Conservation status

This species is Red-listed according to Birds of Conservation Concern in Ireland 2020-2026 and is of high conservation value as a result.

The IUCN Red List has classified this species as ‘Near Threatened’ on a global scale according to the latest assessment in 2018. Additionally, the population trend is noted as decreasing. 

Species Biology


The Meadow Pipit is a characteristically non-descript bird, lacking the striking features that make some species quite easy to identify with little confusion.

It is a small species with a brown back and head and white underparts, with dark streaks all over the body.

The legs and beak are a brown-pink colour depending on the individual.

Confusion species include the larger Skylark and the Rock Pipit which is greyer in colouration with a darker breast.

The Meadow Pipit stands at just 15 cm in length with a wingspan of 22-25 cm and a weight of 15-22 grams. 


This species is primarily insectivorous, feeding on the likes of crane flies, mayflies, moths and beetles. It will also feed on arachnids and to a lesser extent, will feed on plant material such as seeds.


The Meadow Pipit is amongst the most abundant bird species in the country and can be found in a plethora of habitat types such as rough pasture, upland scrub, bogs, saltmarshes, agricultural land and even parks and dune systems.


A clutch of 4-5 eggs will be laid from mid-April to mid-June and will be incubated over a period of 13-15 days. These eggs will weigh just 2 grams.

The young will fledge after 12-14 days.

A wild Meadow Pipit has an average lifespan of three years and will be eligible for breeding at one year. 


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

The Meadow Pipit is common throughout the country both in summer and winter.

It is thought that Ireland supports between half a million and a million pairs of Meadow Pipits.

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2023

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