Olive-backed Pipit

Anthus hodgsoni




Wagtails and Pipits (Motacillidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Light violet or gray with dark blotches

Number of Eggs:

4 - 5

Incubation Days:

12 - 13

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Dried grass, hair and moss.





Olive-backed Pipit: Medium-sized pipit with finely streaked, olive-green upperparts. Underparts are white on chin, belly and undertail coverts, and pale brown with bold dark streaks on sides and breast. Eyebrow is buff-orange in front and white behind eye. Sexes are similar.

Range and Habitat

Olive-backed Pipit: Native to Eurasia. Breeds across much of southern, central, and eastern Asia and portions of European Russia. Winters across southern Asia and throughout Indonesia. Sometimes strays to islands off the west coast of Alaska. Prefers open grassy areas and hills, especially along rivers and bogs, and spruce-fir forests.

Breeding and Nesting

Olive-backed Pipit: Four or five light violet or gray eggs with dark blotches are laid in a bulky nest made of dried grass, hair, and moss, and built on the ground, sheltered by a bush or beside a grassy tussock. Incubation ranges from 12 to 13 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Olive-backed Pipit: Eats mainly insects, but takes some seeds, especially outside the nesting season; forages on the ground or in low trees, often working wet areas and shorelines of rivers, streams, lakes, and bogs.


Olive-backed Pipit: Song is a metallic "seep-seep-sia-sia." Call is a nasal "tsee."

Similar Species

Olive-backed Pipit: Pechora Pipit is smaller, stockier, whiter on underparts, has paired white streaks on back and black-streaked brown upperparts. 


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area of the face just below the bill.
Also called the supercilicum or superciliary it is the arch of feathers over each eye.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X