The plain-backed pipit or plain pipit (Anthus leucophrys) is a medium-sized passerine bird which is a resident breeder in Africa south of the Sahara Desert.

It is found in open habitats, especially short grassland and cultivation. It builds its cup-shaped nest on the ground and usually lays three eggs. Like other pipits, this species is insectivorous.

The plain-backed pipit is a large pipit at 17 cm, but is otherwise an undistinguished looking species, faintly streaked grey-brown above and pale below with light breast streaking. It has a strong white supercilium, and dark moustachial stripes. It has long legs and tail, and a long dark bill. Sexes are similar, but juveniles have warmer brown upperparts.

Some care must be taken to distinguish this species from wintering tawny pipits, Anthus campestris. The plain-backed pipit is sturdier and darker than the Tawny, and stands more upright. Perhaps the best distinction is the characteristic "ssissik" call, quite different from the tawny pipit's "tchilip".
Plain-backed Pipit
Date Location Count
2020-02-04 15:32Kagnout--Marais2
2020-02-11 10:45Dibba Kunda1
2020-01-30 16:30Ebekawopa (Abrafo)--'farm scrub' habitat1
2020-02-02 15:00Sakumono Lagoon4
2020-01-29 06:50Majak Urban Forest and Animal Sanctuary1
2020-02-01 06:30Queen Elizabeth II NP2
2020-02-16 08:33Budongo Forest Reserve--Royal Mile1
2020-02-24 16:03Lake Mburo NP2
2020-02-20 10:00Akagera NP--Mutumba Hills Campsite
2020-02-19 08:30Akagera NP (southern area)
2020-02-24 06:43Serengeti NP--Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp4
2020-02-02 06:49Maasai Mara NR--Mara Triangle3
2020-02-04 07:15Masaai Mara NR--Mara River (North)15
2020-02-24 07:00Serengeti NP--Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge1
2020-02-25 08:45Serengeti NP--Seronera1
2020-02-20 12:45Serengeti NP1
2020-02-21 01:33Serengeti NP--Lobo Wildlife Lodge2
2020-02-21 06:09Serengeti NP--Klein's Camp9
2020-02-12 15:55Ngorongoro Conservation Area--Lake Ndutu1
2020-01-31 07:27Lake Nakuru NP1
2020-01-31 07:20Abidjatta-Shalla NP2
2020-02-06 02:22Bontebok NP1