Olive-backed Pipits (Anthus hodgsoni) at Rabat

By | 7 November 2017

At least two Olive-backed Pipits (Anthus hodgsoni) were found at Rabat on 5 November 2017 by Pedro Fernandes. This is the 6th record for Morocco.

Au moins deux – peut-être trois – Pipits à dos olive dans le Jardin d’Essais Botanique à Rabat le 5 novembre 2017 (Pedro Fernandes). C’est la 6ème mention pour le Maroc. Pour comparaison, il n’y a pas encore de mentions connues de l’espèce ni en Algérie (Isenmann & Moali 2000) ni en Tunisie (Azafzaf et al. 2015, Isenmann et al. 2005).

Pedro wrote in email:

“…tried to find a Yellow-browed Warbler at the local patch, but found something else which made me happier— at least two Olive-backed Pipits at the Jardin d’Essais”.

And this is true, until now there are more records of Yellow-browed Warbler (13 records) than Olive-backed Pipit. Plus he has already found Yellow-browed Warbler at Rabat in 2015 (a probable overwintering bird).

And added more details in eBird:

“First detected when one bird flew from the ground to a tree. Moving closer to it, it flew to another tree remaining exposed in a branch allowing the first pictures. A second bird was flushed, calling softly >ts<. Two more birds were flushed, one was a Meadow Pipit the other possibly another Olive-backed Pipit but could not be sure who was calling. The two birds that allowed good views had striking white superciliums, buffish in front of the eyes, with a black and a white spot on the ear, black line over the eyebrow, unstreaked greenish backs, and buffish tones on the edges of both greater coverts and tertials”.


On 12 November, Pedro confirmed the presence of a third bird. The birds remained in the same area where they were first detected (34.009635, -6.848952).

On 16 November, Pedro found the three birds again at the same place. They are probably wintering in the garden.

New ‘old’ record:

First record of Black-capped Petrel (Pterodroma hasitata) for Morocco (photographed off Agadir in March 2013).

Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni), Jardin d'Essais Botanique, Rabat, 5 Nov. 2017 (Pedro Fernandes.

Olive-backed Pipit (Anthus hodgsoni), Jardin d’Essais Botanique, Rabat, 5 Nov. 2017 (Pedro Fernandes). More photographs at eBird.

Three Olive-backed Pipits are apparently wintering at Jardin d'Essais Botanique, Rabat, Morocco

Two of the three Olive-backed Pipits at Jardin d’Essais Botanique, in Morocco’s capital, 16 Nov. 2017 (Pedro Fernandes).


Azafzaf, H., Feltrup-Azafzaf, C., Dlensi, H. & Isenmann, P. 2015. Nouvelles données sur l’avifaune de Tunisie (2005-2014). Alauda 83: 7–28.

Isenmann, P., & Moali, A. 2000. Oiseaux d’Algérie / Birds of Algeria. SEOF, Paris.

Isenmann, P., Gaultier, T., El Hili, A., Azafzaf, H., Dlensi, H., & Smart, M. 2005. Oiseaux de Tunisie / Birds of Tunisia. SEOF, Paris.

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