This little streaked bird with white outer tail feathers is a long-distance migrant from much of Europe and well across Asia. The wintering areas are in the savannah of Africa and India.
The characteristic song, and song flight, of this species is probably the best developed of any pipit with rich notes and a very pleasing 'teu, teu, teu' at the end of it. This is given as the song flight ends with a parachute flight, legs dangling, back to its perch. The flight call is a 'sees' which is sometimes given on migration and, once learnt, is not easily forgotten.
This species is in severe decline and has dropped by 60% in less than ten years as monitored by the CBC (Common Bird Census) in Britain. The British population (none in Ireland) may be down to 75,000.
Pipits and wagtails form one family with about 50 species worldwide.
Length 150 mm Closed wing 85 mm Weight 22 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead