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Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus)

  1. Much smaller than Richard’s pipit. Has shorter tail, shorter hindclaw and legs.
  2. Has smaller Bill.
  3. It has well streaked upperparts.
  4. Pale on lores and around eye.
  5. Supercilium frequently appears to extend around ear-coverts.
  6. Has warm ginger-buff wash across breast and down flanks.
  7. Pure white on outer tail feathers

Paddyfield Pipit (Anthus rufulus) is a medium-sized passerine bird which is a resident breeder in tropical southern Asia from Pakistan and India eastwards to Indonesia and the Philippines.

It is found in open habitats, especially short grassland and cultivation. It builds its nest on the ground. Like other pipits, this species is insectivorous.

This is a large pipit at 15cm, but is otherwise an undistinguished looking bird, mainly streaked grey-brown above and pale below with breast streaking. It has long legs and tail and a long dark bill. Sexes are similar, but juveniles have warmer brown upperparts.

In south Asia in winter some care must be taken to distinguish this from other large pipits which winter or are resident in the area, such as Richard’s Pipit, Anthus richardi. Paddyfield Pipit is smaller than Richard’s, stands less upright and has a weak fluttering flight. Perhaps the best distinction is the characteristic “chip-chip-chip” call, quite different from Richard’s Pipit’s explosive “shreep”.

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