Anthus trivialis (Tree pipit) 

Boomkoester [Afrikaans]; Boompieper [Dutch]; Pipit ŕ gorge rousse [French]; Baumpieper [German]; Petinha-das-árvores [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 trivialis (Tree pipit)   

Tree pipit, Tanzania. [photo Martin Goodey ©]


Distribution and habitat

Breeds from western Europe and Scandinavia to central Asia, heading south in the non-breeding season to India and sub-Saharan Africa from southern Mauritania to Somalia south through Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, southern DRC and Angola to southern Africa. Here it is fairly common in Zimbabwe, marginally extending into central Mozambique, north-eastern Botswana and isolated patches of north-eastern South Africa and Namibia. It generally prefers grassland with scattered large trees, but it also occurs in broad-leaved woodland, grassy hillsides, edges of woodland, exotic plantations and gardens.

Distribution of Tree 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).

Movements and migrations

Non-breeding visitor to southern Africa, mainly arriving in the period from mid October to mid November and leaving in late March and early April.


It mainly eats insects and other invertebrates, supplemented with fruit, seeds and buds, doing most of its foraging on the ground. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


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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