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Conservation status: Green

The rock pipit is a large stocky pipit, larger than a meadow pipit and smaller than a starling. It is streaky olive-brown above and dirty white underneath with dark streaking. It breeds around the coast where there are rocky beaches, and most of the birds that breed in the UK are residents, with only the young birds dispersing once they become independent. Some birds arrive here from Norway to spend the winter.



Latin name

Anthus petrosus


Pipits and wagtails (Motacillidae)

Where to see them

Look for it on rocky shorelines around the UK as it hops, walks and runs foraging for food among the boulders. Birds are sometimes seen perched on prominent rocks. Absent from the less rocky parts of north-west, east and south England coastlines.

When to see them

All year round.

What they eat

Insects, beetles, small fish, small shellfish and seeds.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-36,000 pairs--




Herman van Oosten, Xeno-canto