Length: 15 cm.
voice: When courting a long drawn-out ‘teeze’, the alarm note ‘sip sip sip’.
Song: Sounds resembling ‘chew chew chew chew’, followed by long drawn-out ‘seea-seea-seea’.
Size of Egg: 18.0—-23.5 x 14.7—17.2 mm.
The tree pipit is widely distributed throughout Europe, except for Spain and Iceland, occurring also in parts of Asia as far as northern Siberia. It is a migratory bird that spends the winter in Africa south of the Sahara, returning in April to its nesting grounds in thin woodlands, open glades or meadows with scattered pine trees, and in woodland margins and forest clearings. It may be seen both in lowland country and the mountains.
The birds do not pair until the end of April when the males begin their trilling, which is similar in sound to the canary’s song. As he sings the male flies up from his perch at the top of a tree, spreads his wings and tail and descends slowly in a spiral, without pausing in his song until he alights. In May to June, the female hatches the 4 to 6 eggs in the nest, usually located in a hollow in a clump of grass or heather. The nest is made of plant stalks, moss and lichens and lined with grass and hairs.
The young, hatched after 12 to 13 days, are fed by both parents with mostly mosquitoes and butterflies, various larvae and small spiders. They leave the nest at the age of 10 to 14 days, as yet incapable of flight, and conceal themselves in the immediate vicinity, where the parent birds continue to feed them a further two weeks. When the young have fledged they and the adult birds roam fields in search of leaf beetles, weevils, the caterpillars of turnip and other moths, as well as aphids; thug these birds are among the most beneficial to man.