Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit - Pipits
The Meadow Pipit is a widespread and often abundant small pipit. It is an undistinguished looking species, mainly brown above and buff below with darker streaking on most of its plumage. The tail is brown with narrow white outer side edges. It has a thin bill and pale pinkish-yellow legs. A simple repetitive song is given in a short song and parachute display flight.

The Meadow Pipit breeds in much of north west Eurasia from south east Greenland and Iceland east to just east of the Ural Mountains in Russia and south to central France and Romania. It is migratory over most of its range, wintering in south Europe, north Africa and south west Asia, but it is resident all year round in west Europe although many birds move to the coast or lowlands in winter.

The Meadow Pipit is primarily a species of open habitats, either uncultivated or low-intensity agriculture, such as pasture, bogs and moorland. It also occurs in low numbers in arable croplands and in winter it occurs on saltmarshes where it can be quite gregarious and gather in small flocks. The Meadow Pipit is an abundant species in the north of its range but it is less common further south. It can be found all year round across the UK but it is commonest in the upland areas of the west and north during the breeding season. In winter it moves south to more lowland areas and becomes much commoner in the southern half of the UK.

The Meadow Pipit nests on the ground in dense vegetation and it is one of the most important nest hosts of the Cuckoo.

The Meadow Pipit is a fairly terrestrial pipit usually feeding on the ground although it will use elevated perches such as shrubs, fence lines or electricity wires as vantage points to watch for predators. It feeds mainly on insects and other invertebrates but it also eats the seeds of grasses, sedges, rushes and heather and crowberry berries.

Date: 20th June 2017

Location: Glen Quaich, Perthshire

Meadow Pipit

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