Anthus caffer (Bushveld pipit) 

Bosveldkoester [Afrikaans]; Savanne-pieper [Dutch]; Pipit des arbres [French]; Buschpieper [German]; Petinha-do-mato [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Motacillidae > Genus: Anthus

Anthus caffer (Bushveld pipit)  Anthus caffer (Bushveld pipit) 

Bushveld pipit, Tanzania. [photo Martin Goodey ]

Bushveld pipit, Nylsvlei, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]

Distribution and habitat

Occurs in patches from Ethiopia through Tanzania to Malawi, Zambia and southern Africa. Here it is locally common in central Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana and north-eastern South Africa, generally preferring open woodland with sparse undergrowth and edges of miombo (Brachystegia) woodland.

Distribution of Bushveld pipit in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project ( Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  


It mainly eats insects, doing most of its foraging on the ground, gleaning food from grass and leaf litter and often joining mixed-species foraging flocks.


  • The nest (see image below) is a small, thick-walled cup made of dry grass and lined with finer grass stems and rootlets, typically placed in a hollow at the base of a dense grass tuft.
Anthus caffer (Bushveld pipit)  

Bushveld pipit nest with eggs, Nylsvley area, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ]

  • Egg-laying season is from October-March, peaking from November-February.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated for at least 14 days.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.



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