Anthus nyassae (Wood pipit) 

Boskoester [Afrikaans]; Miombokoester [Afrikaans]; Bospieper [Dutch]; Pipit queue courte [French]; Miombopieper [German]; Petinha do Niassa [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 nyassae (Wood pipit)  

Wood pipit, Shamvura, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]


Distribution and habitat

Occurs from the Congo through Angola, Zambia and Malawi to southern Africa. Here it is locally fairly common across Zimbabwe, marginally extending into Mozambique, with a separate population in north-eastern Namibia and northern Botswana. It generally favours the grassy undergrowth of broad-leaved woodland, especially Miombo (Brachystegia), Burkea (Burkea africana), bloodwood (Pterocarpus) and Zambezi teak (Baikiaea plurijuga) woodlands.

Distribution of Wood 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).


It exclusively eats insects and other invertebrates, doing most of its foraging in the undergrowth. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is an open cup with an extended rim on one side, made of root stems and dry grass and lined with finer stems and rootlets. It is typically placed in a hollow in the ground at the base of a grass tuft, well concealed by overhanging vegetation.
  • Egg-laying season is from July-February, peaking from September-November.
  • It lays 1-3, usually 2-3 faintly coloured eggs, covered in grey or brown markings.
  • Very little is known about the chicks. s


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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