• Berthelot's Pipit


Scientific name
Anthus berthelotii (Erlanger, 1899)

Taxonomic Status
Endemic Species to Macaronesia

Red Data Book Status
Least Concern

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  • Identification

The plumage of Berthelot’s pipit is predominantly grey and dirty white. The breast is clearly streaked with thin, short lines of dark grey-brown and the eye is surrounded by a whitish ring. The tail and the bill are relatively long compared with other pipits that are bigger in size. Juvenile are similar to adults, but with small differences. For example, the streaks on the back and rump have more a reddish-brown and the upperparts are mainly brownish-grey uniformly whitish underneath. 

  • Voice

A sound similar to tsiirli-tsiirli-tsiirli

  • Ecology

Berthelot’s breeding season is since February through to August. The nest is made on the ground and consists in a cup-shaped with plant steams and lined with wool and feathers. Their habitat is grassland areas near the coast or in the highest points of the island. Their diet is mainly composed by insects but also seeds.

  • Distribution

Berthelot’s pipit is endemic to Macaronesia, occurring in the archipelagos of Madeira and Canaries. In Madeira archipelago is present the subspecies A.b.madeirensis with the exception of Selvagens islands where occurs the A.b.berthelotii the same that is found in the canaries Islands. 


The Berthelot’s Pipit is the only land bird that breeds in the Selvagens islands.


  • Berthelot's Pipit Sightings


April 2012 - Madeira Island © Birds & Company


 Madeira Island © Birds & Company


August 2011 - Ilheu de Cima, Porto Santo © Birds & Company

  • Literature

[1] del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2007. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 12: Picathartes to Tits and Chickadees. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain

[2] Equipa Atlas 2008. Atlas das Aves Nidificantes em Portugal (1999-2005). Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e da Biodiversidade, Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, Parque Natural da Madeira e Secretaria Regional do Ambiente e do Mar. Assírio & Alvim. Lisboa.   

[3] Mullarney, Killian; Svensson, Lars; Zetterstrom, Dan; Grant, Peter (1999). Collins Bird Guide. London: Collins. 



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