This is a widespread and often abundant small pipit, 14.5–15 cm (5+1⁄2–6 in) long and 15–22 g (0.53–0.78 oz) weight. It is an undistinguished-looking species on the ground, mainly brown above and buff below, with darker streaking on most of its plumage; the tail is brown, with narrow white side edges. It has a thin bill and pale pinkish-yellow legs; the hind claw is notably long, longer than the rest of the hind toes. The call is a weak tsi-tsi. The simple repetitive song is given in a short song flight. Birds breeding in Ireland and western Scotland are slightly darker coloured than those in other areas, and are often distinguished as the subspecies A. p. whistleri, though it intergrades clinally with nominate A. p. pratensis found in the rest of the species’ range.