Anthus hoeschi (Mountain pipit) 

Bergkoester [Afrikaans]; Bergpieper [Dutch]; Pipit alticole [French]; Hochlandpieper [German]; Petinha-das-montanhas [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 hoeschi (Mountain pipit)   

Mountain pipit, Sani Pass, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]


Distribution and habitat

In the non-breeding season it is thought to stay in the area from eastern Angola to north-eastern Angola and southern DRC, but it breeds in the alpine grassland and heathland of Lesotho and adjacent KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

Distribution of Mountain 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.  

Movements and migrations

Although not well-known, it is though to be an intra-African breeding migrant, arriving in its southern African breeding ground from late October and mainly departing from March-April.


Its diet is unknown, however it does most of its foraging on the ground, sometimes in flat grassland or ploughed fields alongside African pipits.


  • The nest is probably built by the female, consisting of an open cup made of coarse grass lined with finer grass stems and rootlets. It is typically placed in a sloping hollow at the base of a grass tuft, which sometimes partially conceals it.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, usually in the months from late November to early January. 


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. 



 Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Birds home   Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search