Summer Visitors: Tree Pipits
As summer is approaching, so much incredible wildlife can be seen. Tree pipits are summer visitors, and being part of the pipit and wagtail family, are small and good flyers. When visiting, they can be found all throughout Britain and especially favour woodlands, however their population has declined in recent years giving them a ‘red’ listing on the UK Conservation Status. Streaked in appearance, like the rest of their ecological family, they are a lovely presence. With hopes of a sighting, I wanted to find out a little more about them.
I have found a certain love for pipits in the past, enjoying the call of the meadow pipit often, a smaller songbird. A sad similarity, meadow pipits’ numbers have also been suffering. Now in particular was a perfect time to write and learn more about tree pipits as their visiting range usually extends from April – September and hunting for wildflowers in woodlands, I’ve been keeping a lookout on every occasion.
According to one source, they have declined by a staggering 85% in England in the last 20 years. Depending heavily on forests and woodlands as a breeding site and food source (eating berries and invertebrates), a loss of which has been linked to declines. There has not been a huge amount of research into what is causing the decline, though it has been credited by some to less ancient wood-pastures in recent years. Research conducted showed that the number of large oak trees was a variable in tree pipit presence, meaning the survival of new oak saplings and continued maintenance of these trees in summer, may be essential to conservation.
There is more to be done to keep tree pipits from being lost and knowing what to do and where to focus efforts is part of what will achieve this. Summer is the best time to see a huge variety of visiting birds, a glimpse of fluttering wings amongst the summer breeze. I would love to see more information on how to help this beautiful bird and ultimately, see them thrive.
Image credit: elraimo71, Raimo Kataja
Tree pipit sources:
Abstract from Biologia article:
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