This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
The Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) belongs to the Dentirostral Perchers and is included in the sub-family of the Motacillinae or Wagtails. The bill is of moderate length, and slender with the tip of the upper mandible notched and curved. The hinder claw is long, in which and the development of the tertiary quills it chiefly resembles the skylark, and in its similar plumage. The tail is elongated, and the length of the bird is 6 in. It resembles the wagtail in running swiftly on the ground, chasing insects, and vibrating its tail after the habit of that bird. Hilly grounds, commons, and meadows are its chief resorts in summer, but during September and October flocks of meadow pipits or titlarks may be seen congregated in stubbles and in turnip fields, and, like the skylarks, feed on any exposed or badly covered seed-corn. Its food, however, consists chiefly of insects. The nest of the titlark is made on the ground; eggs, five or six, light brown in colour, spotted with a darker tint,