|Poor lttle scrap|
According to Birds of the Western Palaearctic, the average weight for a healthy adult meadow pipit in autumn (and it has been autumnal up to very recently) is 18 grams. Also listed are mortality weights of around 12 to15gms. The tip of the tail is quite worn, suggesting that this is an older bird. We think it was starving, exhausted and cold, and the shock of capture by a cat was the last straw. Until the cold spell started, there were plenty of insects around for it to eat. Its fate shows how quickly a small bird can run out of energy in cold weather.
Also worth noting is that this would have been [and technically still was] a new species for us here... we've seen them up on the 'tops' but never around here in the valley... so it had been driven to seek food in new areas.
The guilty party was sent to his basket, which is on the windowsill of our bedroom. Remarkably, he went!