13 Amaze-wing Facts About The Nilgiri Pipit For Kids

Here are some fantastic facts about the Nilgiri pipit that will fascinate you!

The Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is a species of bird from the genus Anthus (which consists of pipits), which is endemic to the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu in southern India. This small bird is mostly terrestrial, spending most of its life on the ground, among the grasslands and hilly slopes. Its habitat consists of cool, elevated grasslands and marshes with streams and creeks, around which it builds its nests.

Despite looking similar to other species of pipits, the Nilgiri pipit can be distinguished by its richer brown coloring, with its facial markings being more prominent, and its breast and underbelly being more sparsely marked than other species.

It is a non-migratory bird, being endemic to Tamil Nadu. It is an easily startled bird and is able to camouflage well in bushes and dry grass due to its coloring, which gives it an upper hand over predators.

Unfortunately, the natural habitat of this species is slowly being cut down to make space for tea and eucalyptus plantations, causing a decline in its population. Efforts are being taken for the conservation of grasslands in the Western Ghats region in order to protect the Nilgiri pipit and other endemic species in the area.

To find out more about the Nilgiri pipit, read on! For more relatable content, check out these American pipit facts and chipping sparrow facts for kids.

Nilgiri Pipit

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Invertebrates and seeds

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-3 eggs

How much do they weigh?

0.5-1.3 oz (15-38 g)

How long are they?

5-5.5 in (12.7-14 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Rich brown with light brown and black streaking

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Loss of habitat

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Montane grasslands and marshes


Southern India





Scientific Name

Anthus nilghiriensis





Nilgiri Pipit Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Nilgiri pipit?

The Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is a species of bird from the Anthus genus, which is endemic to Tamil Nadu in Southern India.

What class of animal does a Nilgiri pipit belong to?

This bird species belongs to the class of Aves.

How many Nilgiri pipits are there in the world?

The estimated population of this bird species in the world is currently around 3,500-15,000 birds, with 4,000 of these individuals assumed to be mature.

Where does a Nilgiri pipit live?

The Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is endemic to the Western Ghats in Tamil Nadu and can be found living among the grasslands and shrubbery of the Nilgiri and Annamalai hills. It can usually be found at elevations of 3,280-7,545 ft (1,000-2,300 m). Despite living at such high altitudes, it prefers to spend most of its time on the ground, building its nest out of woven grass along the streams coursing down the hills.

What is a Nilgiri pipit's habitat?

The habitat of the Nilgiri pipit population falls in a temperate and agreeable zone. The birds are usually found at high altitudes in the Western Ghats, at which winters are cold, and summers are mild.

Who do Nilgiri pipits live with?

Nilgiri pipits can mostly be found living on their own or in mated pairs. Their nests are constructed out of grass to resemble a cup and are scattered on the ground among the upper grasslands.

How long does a Nilgiri pipit live?

Like all other pipits, this bird species live only for two to five years.

How do they reproduce?

Nilgiri pipits, belonging to the family Motacillidae, usually breed from April to July, which is during summer in India. These birds are monogamous, they will stick with a single mating partner for their whole life. They construct cup-shaped nests out of the grass on the hillsides, in which the female lays two to three eggs after the mating process. After incubation, these eggs hatch to reveal the pipit hatchlings. Since these birds have short lifespans, they mature at a young age, at around one year.

What is their conservation status?

The habitat of these birds is rapidly decreasing due to claiming of land for plantations, taking over of the grassland by the invasive plant species broom, and forest fires. This has led to the decreasing population of the Nilgiri pipit in the world, which has led to the IUCN Red List classifying its status as Vulnerable.

Nilgiri Pipit Fun Facts

What do Nilgiri pipits look like?

Nilgiri pipits are small birds, with males and females being similar in appearance. They have rich brown feathers which are tinged with light brown down their backs and wings, and a smattering white plumage above their eyes. They have a light brown breast and underbellies which have streaks of brown, the same pattern repeating on their crest. Their shiny eyes and beaks are black, with their feet being light orange.

The Nilgiri pipit is a rich brown bird with light brown accents on its body, and can mostly be seen on the hillside.

How cute are they?

As the Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is quite small in size and has an attractive color scheme, it is very cute to look at. The white coloring above its shiny black eyes gives it a soft and approachable appearance, and its round, fluffy build makes it look very cuddly.

How do they communicate?

Like most birds, these birds communicate with various calls, chirps, and tweets. They have a relatively soft and feeble call, and mostly communicate in single-tone chirps. They can also relay various moods through flight displays, as seen during breeding season when the birds attempt to find mating partners.

How big is a Nilgiri pipit?

The Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) usually measures in a range of 5-5.5 in (12.7-14 cm), meaning it is a quite small bird. It is similar in size to a Savannah sparrow, which averages at the same length. It can be described as being roughly as long as an average ruler of 6 in (15 cm).

How fast can a Nilgiri pipit fly?

These birds spend most of their time on the ground, even building their nests among the grasslands! Since they are not commonly seen mid-flight and are non-migratory, their exact speed is unknown. However, they are fast enough to evade any predators or threats that come their way, flying to perch in trees until the danger has passed.

How much does a Nilgiri pipit weigh?

The exact weight of the Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) is unknown, however, the average weight of the pipit genus is in the range of 0.5-1.3 oz (15-38 g), so we can assume that their weight falls inside this range like the American pipit.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for males and females of these species. Male birds are simply known as cocks and females as hens.

What would you call a baby Nilgiri pipit?

Baby Nilgiri pipits are called as chicks, fledglings, or hatchlings.

What do they eat?

The Nilgiri pipit (Anthus nilghiriensis) are omnivorous in nature. It mostly eats various seeds during the non-breeding season, with small invertebrates such as insects, worms, and snails found in the grass, during the breeding period.

Are they dangerous?

No, these birds are not dangerous, however, since they are wild birds it is advisable to observe them from a distance.

Would they make a good pet?

These birds are usually not kept as pets, being found only in the wild. As they are not bred in captivity, it would be difficult to keep them as pets as they are not acclimatized or accustomed to urban surroundings. They will not fare well if kept in cages, hence it is better to let these birds fly free in their native habitat.

Did you know...

This species is endemic to southern India, it is a local species to the upper grasslands of Tamil Nadu only.

There are around 50 species of pipit, all of which share similar characteristics of having brown feathers with interspersing light brown tinges which help in spotting them.

Their brown coloring is a means to camouflage them among the grasslands, as they are mostly landbound. This helps them to blend in among the dry blades of grass and shrubs along the hillside, making it difficult for predators to spot them.

Do Nilgiri pipits migrate?

No, the Nilgiri pipit is a non-migratory bird and spends its entire life living on the grassy slopes of South India. During the breeding season, it nests near streams coursing through the marshlands, otherwise, it can be found at an altitude range of 3,280-7,545 ft (1,000-2,300 m), among the greenery of the Western Ghats (western hills) in southern India.

How many eggs do Nilgiri pipits lay?

During the breeding season, which occurs from April to July, these local birds will build their cup-shaped nests among the grasslands out of interwoven blades of grass, in which the female will lay two to three speckled eggs

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Australian magpie fun facts for kids and European robin interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Nilgiri pipit coloring pages.



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