Pika ordinary


Appearance and behavior. A very small (considerably smaller than a sparrow) bird with a thin, curved beak, a relatively long tail, and a patronizing coloration. Body length 12.5 cm, weight 7–10 g. Relatively silent and inconspicuous bird. Most often, pika can be observed climbing along a tree trunk, while the bird moves along it from the bottom up, climbing in a spiral. Occurs singly or in pairs, often included in mixed blue-eyed schools. Flies badly and reluctantly.

Description. Male and female are painted the same. The overall tone of the top is brownish-brown, reddish in the back and nadhvostiya. On the dark background evenly distributed bright streaks, small on the head and larger on the back. A bright eyebrow is clearly visible, starting from the base of the beak and ending far behind the eye, actually already on the neck. The bridle and eye are black, and on the covering feathers of the ear a scaly pattern of light drop-like pestrin is developed. Bill is moderately long, thin, curved downwards. The mandible is dark brown, the mandible is yellowish. On the wing is a complex pattern of combinations of black, reddish-brown and white colors. The bottom of the body is white. The tail is wedge-shaped, reddish brown. Young birds are very similar to adults, but their coloring is generally dimmer. The top of the body looks scaly due to the fact that along the center of the contour feathers of the top wide light fields are developed, with distinct dark edges. In most of the region under consideration is the only type of pika.

However, in the western Caucasus, along the Black Sea coast from Gelendzhik to the border with Abkhazia, the common pika lives side by side with a kind of double, the short-fisted pika. One can reliably distinguish them from each other only by a set of signs, holding birds in their hands or having high-quality photographs. An ordinary pika has a shorter beak, and claws (especially on the back finger) are longer than those of the short-fingered one. The bright eyebrow of an ordinary pika is white, clear and wide, the front edges of the eyebrows often merge above the base of the beak. The color of the belly of an ordinary pika is white, without a reddish color on the sides.

Vote. A very important identifying feature is the voice, in particular, the calls of birds of both sexes and the song performed by the male. The calls of an ordinary pika are very monotonous, most often it is a long, thin whistle "srrri. "With a well-pronounced" vibrating "component, less often - short, staccant cries"these " or "tii. ". Often the calls make up a long series. The song of an ordinary pikasha is a quiet, relatively long, complex whistling phrase with a trill at the end. They sing actively at the end of winter and at the beginning of spring.

Distribution, status. Palearctic forest zone. In European Russia - from northern taiga to the forest-steppe zone, an isolated area covers the Caucasus. The sedentary species, the birds make small migrations. Due to its inconspicuous nature, the pika does not seem to be a large bird, but in most of its range it is one of the common forest species. The population density of pika is very low in the most northern and southern limits of its distribution, as well as in highly sparse forests.

Lifestyle. It inhabits various types of forests, preferring old ripe tree stands, which are an ideal place for nest building and forage searches. In those places where the range of the common pikakha overlaps with shortfangles, the commoner is more common in coniferous and mixed forests, often at high altitudes, than the short felted fowl. In the majority of the range, the sedentary bird, only the northern and high mountain populations, make minor seasonal movements. It feeds on small insects and arachnids, which it finds in the cracks of the bark and other shelters in the trees, and eats the seeds of pine and spruce. Monogamous view. The construction of the nest starts in late April or early May.

The nest is most often arranged on a tree: in a crack, hollow, or a large trunk crack, behind a piece of exfoliated bark at a height of 1–16 m above the ground, usually 1–2.5 m. Less often the nest is placed in a niche in a person’s building and very rarely the earth. The base of the nest is constructed of small twigs, needles, moss and wood fibers - it is built by both members of the pair. A tray made of feathers, wool, lichen and cobwebs is made only by the female. In clutch there are 2–9 white with pinkish or brownish speckled eggs. The female incubates, the incubation period is 12–20 days. Chicks on their heads have a thick dark gray down; the mouth is yellow, and their beak rollers are yellow. Feeding lasts 12–19 days, both parents feed the chicks. Approximately two weeks after the chicks left the nest, the family group disintegrates, and the young birds join mixed flocks of insectivorous birds.

Pika, or common pika (Certhia familiaris)


The tail plumage is very hard and forked. The bird rests on it when it climbs up a vertical tree trunk. The body length is 12 cm, weight is from 7 to 13 g. The upper torso is light brown with dark spots. The tail is brown, the belly is light gray. The beak is long and smoothly bent down.

Reproduction and longevity

Representatives of the species live in the woods and climb the trunks beautifully. In mid-spring, the female begins to build a nest. She does it in a small hollow or deep fissure of the cortex. The tray itself is laid out from dry branches, and inside is lined with wool and feathers. Eggs are laid in early May. They are very small and are 1.5 cm in diameter. The main background is white, diluted with brown specks. In laying usually contains 6-7 eggs. In southern areas birds make 2 clutches per season. In the northern areas there is only 1 clutch.

The incubation period lasts 2 weeks. After another 2 weeks, the chicks leave the nest and begin to crawl along the trunk. On the wing they become 3 weeks after birth. Life expectancy in the wild is 2-3 years. In favorable conditions, representatives of the species live to 8 years.

Behavior and nutrition

This bird is a sedentary life. Food gets in the bark of trees, the earth goes down extremely rarely. At 70% it consists of insects. These are leaflets, aphids, caterpillars, moths, weevils, spiders, various larvae, crackers. It can be said that the common pika is a forest health officer, since it destroys various pests. From plant foods it feeds mainly on seeds that fall from cones of conifers. The bird behaves quietly, keeps quiet, so it is very difficult to detect it. Along the trunk of a tree usually moves in a spiral, looking for insects in the tree bark.

This species occupies a vast area. The number of birds in Europe alone is estimated at 15-20 million individuals. But besides this, there is still a giant territory in Asia. So we can conclude that the population is not endangered.


The common pika finds a place convenient for a nest, and a rich source of food in the forests, parks, on the forested banks of rivers and in gardens with old coniferous trees.

The beak of the pika is thin and curved like a sickle, so it easily reaches insects and their eggs hidden in the narrow crevices between the bark. Here the pika also finds other invertebrates. The bird feeds on spiders, dipterans, hymenoptera, butterfly caterpillars and bedbugs, but the majority of its diet is composed of weevils and leaf beetles.

And most of all pika likes to eat the larvae of different types of beetles.

Unlike woodpeckers, the pika can not make an effort, and to get food. Pulling an insect from under the bark, it strongly rests against the tail feathers in the trunk and takes prey from the gap.

In winter, the pikas menu is replenished by some types of seeds, mainly coniferous tree seeds. This bird systematically searches a tree trunk from bottom to top. If the pika finds a too “productive” tree, then it returns to it several times for a second inspection.


The common pika is bad and flies a little. As a rule, the bird only flies from the crown of one tree to the foot of another, jumping onto the trunk of a new tree.

In search of food, the pika moves upward in a spiral, while it rests on the trunk of a tree with its tail and wings. Often the bird explores the undersides of the branches.

With its long, curved claws, the common pika clings very tightly to the bark of the tree. Whistles live singly, but in the fall they join together in common flocks with other species of birds, such as titmouses. It happens that sometimes in cold winters up to fifteen birds sit down together and warm each other with the warmth of their bodies.

Starting in the autumn, these birds travel in places where there are trees - in parks, gardens and forests. However, the rest of the year, the ordinary pika actively protects its plot and overnight stop from any intruder.

These birds usually sleep in the cracks under the bark, often lodging in nest boxes that have a small entrance.


The male begins to care for the female in early April. He pursues his chosen one in the air or runs with it along a tree trunk. The male gives her pieces of food and continuously sings. During the marriage ritual, the wings of both partners characteristically tremble.

In Central Europe, the common pika breeds until June and often has time to grow two broods. Parents build a nest together. It is usually located behind the bark that has moved away from the trunk, or in a dilapidated tree hollow. Sometimes the nest is placed in thick ivy on the wall of a building. The nest of pikas is inaccurate, built from small twigs, lined inside with blades of grass, feathers and animal hair.

The female lays several white eggs with light reddish-brown specks and incubates them for 2 weeks. Parents feed juveniles together. Young chicks leave the nest in 16-17 days.


Common pika occurs almost throughout Europe, usually in coniferous forests, but also lives in mixed forests and parks, where there are old coniferous trees. This bird is fearless - if an ordinary pika is searching for food, it does not run away, even after seeing a person. In flight from a short distance you can see light stripes on its wings. In winter, this bird can be attracted to a specific feeding place by smearing a mixture of beef tallow and soft food for insectivorous birds on the bark of a coniferous tree. In the summer you can hang a small house in which an ordinary pika is likely to make a nest. Some people confuse a pika with a nuthatch because of similar behavior on a tree trunk.


  • Singing common pikas consists of two trills, the first of which is always an order of magnitude higher than the second.
  • While moving along the trunk, the common pika uses the tail as a support, therefore over time its tail becomes so disheveled and erased that the feathers on it fall out and change more often than once a year.
  • Fifteen ordinary pika were found under the roof of one forest hut, which gathered there in one tight tangle. Thus, it turns out, the birds were protected from cold and bad weather.
  • An ordinary pika reminds a mouse not only by tireless running around the trunk, but also by its sounds - a high, shrill squeak.


Egg laying: from 4 to 8 (usually 6) white with red-brown specks of eggs, with a clearly visible blunt end.

Flight: uneven. The bird flies as if sideways. Pike flies only for short distances. During the flight, white stripes on the wings are clearly visible.

Beak: long, sickle curved.

Plumage: the back of the bird is greyish-brown with whitish patches. The belly and stripes under the eyes are silky white. Young birds are gray, they have more white spots on the dorsal side of the body.

Tail: long, forked, pointed. The forked tail end is clearly visible in flight. The tail plays an important role during the movement of a bird along a tree trunk.

- Habitat of common pikas

Where it lives

Common pika leads a sedentary lifestyle. It is found in territory from Western Europe through Central and Eastern Europe and Asia to the Himalayas and Japan.


Despite the large number of dead, rotten trees that the bird uses as a nesting ground, the common pika finds new shelters in which it is quickly settled.

Pika ordinary. Birds of Brateevograd. Video (00:00:49)

The nesting of this bird in Brateevo and Marino is not noticed, but it is possible that they exist. They are often seen during seasonal flights. Some of them remain in the winter quarters in the Mariinsky abandoned jetty near the former sand farm and on the opposite bank in the Brateevskaya floodplain.

Habitat and habitat

Pike is a bird leading a sedentary, less often nomadic way of life. It is common in Europe. As well as in North Asia, Canada and America (USA). In Russia, pikuha can be found in the European part, ranging from Arkhangelsk and ending with the Crimea and the Caucasus. This bird is not found only in the steppe and in places where trees do not grow. During the wandering can fly far beyond the nesting range. Often found in small towns. In Asia, pika is found in the Siberian forest belt, east of Sakhalin and the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, south of the Tien Shan, Mongolia, Northern Iran and Kazakhstan.

It prefers deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests. Pika like old trees. During the nesting period it chooses old deciduous and mixed forests. Less commonly, it can be seen in conifers. During wandering occurs in gardens, parks, groves - wherever trees grow.

What does a pika bird look like?

The back of the roach is greyish or brown-red, with pale white specks. The loin and uppertail are grayish-brown. Belly white, silky. Flywings are light brown with small bright spots. Steering - the same color, but they have bright edges and naststvolya.

Beak brownish on top and lighter below. Brown iris. The legs are the same color, but with a grayish tint. Young pikas have round spots on their backs and elongated ones in adults. The color of the young is dimmer, and the belly is yellowish.

The main food pikas - insects and spiders. Most birds eat diptera, spiders and beetles. Most love weevils. Also in the diet of pikas there are aphids, caterpillars, creeps, bedbugs, moths, weevils and other forest pests. Birds feed on seeds, but mostly from conifers and in winter. In search of food, these birds search the trunk of a tree, without losing sight of a single crack. If the tree has a lot of food, the pika can return to it several times.

In winter, this bird can be trained to temporarily one place of feeding, if you smear soft food and beef tallow on the bark. In summer, a small house is hung in which food is constantly placed.

Pika bird: breeding description

The mating season at pika begins in March. At this time, you can see the fights of males and how they sing. Nests build pikas begin later. First, carefully select a place. Pikas prefer narrow hollows or loose bark. But the nest is always located low off the ground.

Pests build nests from eight to twelve days. But only females prepare it for themselves; males do not care about their offspring. The bottom of the nest usually has a loose platform and consists of pieces of bark and thin branches. They run into the walls of the hollow. It turns out that the nest does not lie in it, but becomes stronger in the middle. From above, the dwelling is constructed of bast fibers, mixed with small pieces of bark, lichen, wood and bundles of moss. Inside it is lined of many small feathers with an admixture of wool, cobwebs, cocoons of insects.

The common pika lays five to seven eggs. Eight or nine is extremely rare. The eggs are reddish-brown, with dots and specks. They are most at the blunt end. Sometimes in the clutch there are white eggs with barely noticeable pinkish spotting.

The female incubates the clutch from 13 to 15 days. After birth, the chicks remain in the nest for the same time. Females feed them with spiders and small insects. Chicks of the first clutch begin to fly in May-June. From the second - in June and July. Having strengthened, the chicks begin to wander, but not flying away from the nest.

Pike - a bird molting in the first year of life. It starts changing plumage in July. Ends molt in September. In old birds, this period lasts from June to August. And the first to change contour large wings. Small - later, at the end of the molt. After the plumage changes, it becomes brighter. And the color of feathers turns red.

Subspecies and changing signs

Pike - a bird with geographic variability. This is manifested in the size of the body and a change in the color of feathers in the upper half of the body. But it can be seasonal or individual. And this greatly complicates the determination of geographic species. Now there are twelve. The differences between them are insignificant, and it can be very difficult to distinguish them.

In England and Ireland, color pika is darker than in Western Europe. In Japan - with a pronounced red shade. The singing of different subspecies is also different. Basically, their trill is loud and protracted, with short pauses. It is for her peep that the bird received such a name.

Pikas lifestyle

The common pika is little and does not fly well. Basically it is only flights from one tree to the foot of another. Due to the long and curved claws, this bird is held very firmly by the bark. Picks live mostly separately. They are loners. But when autumn comes, they flock together. And with other types of birds. For example, with tits.

В холода они могут сидеть в плотном кольце из 10-15 птиц, согреваясь. Осенью пищухи выискивают места с большим количеством деревьев – парки, скверы, леса. Но в остальные сезоны у птиц существуют свои участки питания и ночевки, которые они воинственно защищают.

Пищуха – птица бесстрашная. When she is in search of food, she will not even fly away when she sees a person.

She can even sing. True, her trill double, similar to piercing squeak. The second is always lower than the first.

Since the tail of the pikas serves as a support when searching for food, over time it is erased, the feathers become ruffled. Therefore, the tail of this bird sheds more often than the rest of the plumage.

Finding a pika is not easy. She always keeps quiet, and the color of her plumage masks well. But sometimes, noticing something suitable in the snow, can still jump on it. Grabbing the prey, she again hurries to the trunk.

With the end of winter pika becomes more energetic, lively. On the trunks, it begins to creep much faster, and even encounters when meeting with congeners.

Listen to the voice of common pikas
From plant foods, pikas use seeds of cones of conifers. A pika is very quiet, so it is difficult to notice. Looking for insects, these birds move along the trunk in a spiral.