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Anthus pratensis

Anthus pratensis (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Cladus: Telluraves
Cladus: Australaves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Passeroidea

Familia: Motacillidae
Genus: Anthus
Species: Anthus pratensis

Anthus pratensis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Alauda pratensis (protonym)


Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiæ: impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. i–ii, 1–824 pp DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542: 166. Reference page.

Vernacular names
العربية: أبو تمرة الحقول
башҡортса: Һаҙ деүете
български: Ливадна бъбрица
brezhoneg: Sidan-prad
català: Titella
čeština: Linduška luční
Cymraeg: Corhedydd y Waun
dansk: Engpiber
Deutsch: Wiesenpieper

Ελληνικά: Λιβαδοκελάδα

English: Meadow Pipit
Esperanto: Herbeja pipio
español: Bisbita pratense
eesti: Sookiur
euskara: Negu-txirta
فارسی: پپت صحرایی
suomi: Niittykirvinen
føroyskt: Títlingur
Nordfriisk: Skootfink
français: Pipit farlouse
Gaeilge: Banaltra na cuaiche
magyar: Réti pityer
հայերեն: Մարգագետնային ձիաթռչնակ
íslenska: Þúfutittlingur
italiano: Pispola
日本語: マキバタヒバリ
lietuvių: Pievinis kalviukas
latviešu: Pļavu čipste
Nederlands: Graspieper
norsk nynorsk: Heipiplerke
norsk: Heipiplerke
polski: Świergotek łąkowy
português: Petinha-dos-prados
русский: Луговой конёк
svenska: Ängspiplärka
Türkçe: Çayır incir kuşu
українська: Щеврик лучний
vèneto: Fista
中文: 草地鹨

The meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis) is a small passerine bird, which breeds in much of the Palearctic, from southeastern Greenland and Iceland east to just east of the Ural Mountains in Russia, and south to central France and Romania; an isolated population also occurs in the Caucasus Mountains. It is migratory over most of its range, wintering in southern Europe, North Africa, and south-western Asia, but is resident year-round in western Europe, though even here many birds move to the coast or lowlands in winter.[2][3]


The meadow pipit was formally described by Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758 in the 10th edition of his Systema Naturae under the binomial name Alauda pratensis.[4] The type locality is Sweden.[5] The meadow pipit is now the type species of the genus Anthus that was introduced in 1805 by German naturalist Johann Matthäus Bechstein.[6][7][8] The species is monotypic; no subspecies are recognised.[7]

The generic name Anthus is the Latin name for a small bird of grasslands mentioned by Pliny the Elder, and the specific name pratensis means "of a meadow ", from pratum, "meadow".[9] The name "pipit", first documented by Thomas Pennant in 1768, is onomatopoeic, from the call note of this species.[10] Old folk names, no longer used, include "chit lark", "peet lark", "tit lark", and "titling"; these refer to its small size and superficial similarity to a lark.[10]
A meadow pipit perched on a fishing net

This is a widespread and often abundant small pipit, 14.5–15 cm (5+1⁄2–6 in) long and 15–22 g (0.53–0.78 oz) weight. It is an undistinguished-looking species on the ground, mainly brown above and buff below, with darker streaking on most of its plumage; the tail is brown, with narrow white side edges. It has a thin bill and pale pinkish-yellow legs; the hind claw is notably long, longer than the rest of the hind toes. The call is a weak tsi-tsi. The simple repetitive song is given in a short song flight.[2][3] Birds breeding in Ireland and western Scotland are slightly darker coloured than those in other areas, and are often distinguished as the subspecies A. p. whistleri, though it intergrades clinally with nominate A. p. pratensis found in the rest of the species' range.[2][3]

It is similar to the red-throated pipit A. cervinus, which is more heavily streaked and (in summer only) has an orange-red throat, and to the tree pipit A. trivialis, which is slightly larger, less heavily streaked, and has stronger facial markings and a shorter hind claw. The song of the meadow pipit accelerates towards the end while that of the tree pipit slows down.[2][3]
Distribution and habitat
Nest with eggs

It is primarily a species of open habitats, either uncultivated or low-intensity agriculture, such as pasture, bogs, and moorland, but also occurs in low numbers in arable croplands. In winter, it also uses saltmarshes and sometimes open woodlands. It is a fairly terrestrial pipit, always feeding on the ground, but uses elevated perches such as shrubs, fence lines, or electricity wires as vantage points to watch for predators.[2][3][11]

The estimated total population is 12 million pairs. It is an abundant species in the north of its range, and generally the commonest breeding bird in most of upland Britain, but less common further south. Breeding densities range from 80 pairs/km2 (210 pairs/sq mi) in northern Scandinavia, to 5–20 pairs/km2 (13–52 pairs/sq mi) in grassland in the south of the breeding range, and just 1/km2 (2.6/sq mi) in arable farmland.[3][11] A few isolated breeding pairs are recorded from south of the main range, in the mountains of Spain, Italy, and the northern Balkans.[2] A general decline in the population has occurred over the past 17 years, most notable in French farmland, with a 68% drop.[12]
Eggs, Collection Museum Wiesbaden
Cuculus canorus canorus in a clutch of Anthus pratensis - MHNT

The nest is on the ground hidden in dense vegetation, with two to seven (most often three to five) eggs; the eggs hatch after 11–15 days, with the chicks fledging 10–14 days after hatching. Two broods are commonly raised each year. This species is one of the most important nest hosts of the cuckoo, and it is also an important prey species for merlins and hen harriers.[2][3]
Food and feeding

Its food is primarily insects and other invertebrates, mostly small items less than 5 mm (3⁄16 in) long. It also eats the seeds of grasses, sedges, rushes, and heather, and crowberry berries, mainly in winter.[2][3]

BirdLife International (2021). "Anthus pratensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2021: e.T22718556A154480081. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22718556A154480081.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic (Concise ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
Hoyo, J. del; et al., eds. (2004). Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 9. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 763. ISBN 84-87334-69-5.
Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema Naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 166.
Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1960). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 9. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 159.
Bechstein, Johann Matthäus (1805). Gemeinnützige Naturgeschichte Deutschlands nach allen drey Reichen (in German) (2nd ed.). Leipzig: Bey Siegfried Lebrecht Crusiu. pp. 247, 302 Note.
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2021). "Waxbills, parrotfinches, munias, whydahs, Olive Warbler, accentors, pipits". IOC World Bird List Version 11.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1960). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 9. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 144.
Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 49, 315. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Lockwood, W. B. (1984). The Oxford Book of British Bird Names. Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-214155-4.
Hagemeijer, W. J. M., & Blair, M. J., eds. (1997). The EBCC Atlas of European Breeding Birds. Poyser, London ISBN 0-85661-091-7.
Gorman, James (2018-04-11). "Farmland Birds in France Are in Steep Decline". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-12.

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