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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Tree Pipit

Anthus trivialis

  • Family: Pipits and wagtails – Motacillidae
  • Appearance: Small brown bird with streaked markings, often seen perched on a prominent branch or treetop. Resembles Meadow Pipit but fewer markings on underparts, and has a sturdier bill with pinkish base. Hind toe claw short and curved for perching.
  • Size: Length 14–16 cm, weight 19–25 g.
  • Nest: On dry ground concealed in undergrowth, made of moss and dried grass, lined with small feathers and small pieces of grass.
  • Breeding: Lays 3–6 eggs in May. Only females incubate, for 12–14 days. Fledglings remain in nest for 10–14 days.
  • Distribution: Common breeder in open woodland and forest margins around Finland. Breeding population estimated at 2 million pairs. Has declined in recent years.
  • Migration: Nocturnal and diurnal. Autumn migration August–September, returning April–May. Winters in tropical Africa.
  • Diet: Invertebrates.
  • Calls: in flight a chirpy “bsrrii”, song reminiscent of that of Chaffinch.

Tree Pipits are slightly larger and stockier than the similar Meadow Pipit. They have brownish backs (Meadow Pipits are more greenish) and pale rust-coloured breasts. Their plumage is streaked all over, but these markings are not as prominent as on Meadow or Red-throated Pipit. At close quarters a good distinguishing feature is the shorter, more curved claws on their hind toes. Tree Pipits have brownish pink legs, dark brown beaks (paler beneath) and dark brown irises.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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