Rock Pipit

Anthus petrosus


The rock pipit is a common bird of rocky beaches, feeding on seeds, small molluscs and invertebrates it finds among the stones. It breeds around the coast and most of our breeding birds are residents - only the young disperse once they are independent. Our rock pipits are joined by birds from Norway in winter.

How to identify

A streaky, dark, grey-brown bird, the rock pipit has blackish legs, whereas the meadow pipit has pale, flesh-coloured legs.

Where to find it

Found around most rocky coasts.


When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

How can people help

To ensure that we keep populations of coastal birds like rock pipits healthy it is important that our marine environment is managed properly. The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas' where marine wildlife thrives. This work has recently had a massive boost with the passing of the Marine Bill, promising sustainable development of the UK's marine environment. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust.

Species information

Common name
Rock Pipit
Latin name
Anthus petrosus
Larks, sparrows, wagtails and dunnock
Length: 17cm Wingspan: 25cm Weight: 24g
Conservation status