Habitat and Distribution

It breeds in much of northern Europe and northwestern Asia, from southeastern Greenland and Iceland east to the east of the Ural Mountains in Russia, and south to central France and Romania. Some birds occur in the Caucasus Mountains. It is migratory, wintering in southern Europe, north Africa and southwestern Asia, but is resident in Ireland, and Great Britain. Many birds move to the coast or lowlands in winter. It is a bird of uncultivated or low-intensity agriculture.


The food is primarily insects and other invertebrates, mostly small items less than 5 mm long. It also eats the seeds of grasses, sedges, rushes and heather, and crowberry berries, mainly in winter.


The nest is on the ground hidden in dense vegetation, with 2-7 (most often 3-5) eggs. The eggs hatch after 11-15 days, with the chicks fledging 10-14 days after hatching. Two broods are commonly raised each year.