The Tree Pipit or Titlark (Anthus trivialis or arboreus), Fig. 45, belongs to the Dentirostral Perchers and is included in the subfamily of the Motacillinae or Wagtails, which it closely resembles in its habits of running swiftly on the ground. The bill is of moderate length and slender, with the tip of the upper mandible notched and curved. The wings are long and pointed, the tertiary feathers being of great length. The tail is also elongated. It has a shorter curved hinder claw than the Meadow Pipit, though even this bears some resemblance to the hinder claw of the true (Conirostral) Larks. The general colour tends towards brown or grey, spotted with darker tints.

The Tree Pipit arrives in this country in the spring and takes its departure in the autumn. It frequents woods and coppices, building a nest on the ground, generally concealed by a tuft of grass; the eggs, usually five or six, are light brown in colour, spotted with a darker tint. The young are chiefly fed with caterpillars, and the general food of the adult and fledged birds consists of worms, slugs, and insects, which they chase with much activity after the manner of wagtails, even vibrating their tails like them. The length of the bird is about 6 in.

The Tree Pipit or Titlark and Young.

Fig. 45. - The Tree Pipit or Titlark and Young.