Perhaps the archetypal little brown bird, with few features to distinguish it! Meadow Pipit Bird is olive-brown on the upperparts, well streaked with black on the mantle, plain on the rump, with bold white outer tail feathers. The brown crown of Meadow Pipit Bird is streaked black, the bill is slender with a mostly yellowish lower mandible, and the face is pale, with pale lores and a short diffuse pale eyebrow. The underparts are whitish to pale buff, with a bold malar stripe, clear black spots and streaks on the breast extending down on to the flanks. The legs are pinkish.
Meadow Pipit Bird favours open country, breeding in grassland, moorland (where often abundant), meadows, coastal pastures, saltmarshes, heaths and young plantations. Outside the breeding season it ranges more widely into virtually any open country, such as farmland, wetlands and beaches. Birds that breed at higher elevations descend in winter, and populations in temperate western Europe are usually resident, their numbers supplemented in winter by birds arriving from areas to the north and east, where they tend to be migratory.
The commonly heard call of Meadow Pipit Bird, frequently uttered on take-off, is a thin "tssit'ssit'ssit", typically repeated in triplets although also often singly, sometimes with a variation, as in "weesp". A more abbreviated "ssit" or "chip" note is also used, and the anxiety call used frequently near the nest is a rapid, clipped "tse'tut". The song is brighter and more bubbling than that of the Rock Pipit, quickly accelerating with more variety in tone and with more rattling trills thrown in, such as "tsilp tsilp tsilp tsilp'tsilp'tsilp'tsilp'tsilp'tttrrrrrrrr bl'bl bl bl bl 'bli' bli' bli' bli", often with a few buoyant "bing bing bing" notes added. The pitch and harshness vary between songsters. The full song is only delivered in a parachuting display flight, but birds frequently sing from the ground with a shorter and simpler version of repeated introductory notes.