- Galerida cristata
17–19 cm (6¾-7½ in)
- Dark streaked grey upperparts
- White underparts
- Long spiky erectile crest
- Reddish underwings
Flight outline shows broad rounded wings and a square tail.
Rare vagrant to the British Isles.
There are 35 subspecies:
- G. c. cristata: Central Europe to Slovenia, Belarus, northern Hungary, northern Ukraine
- G. c. pallida: Iberian Peninsula
- G. c. neumanni: Italy (Toscana south to Rome area)
- G. c. apuliae: Southern peninsular Italy and Sicily
- G. c. tenuirostris: Eastern Hungary and Romania to southern Russia and western Kazakhstan
- G. c. meridionalis: Southern Yugoslavia to mainland Greece, Ionian Islands, Crete and western Turkey
- G. c. caucasica: Eastern [[Aegean Islands, northern Turkey, southern Caucasus and western Transcaucasia
- G. c. subtaurica: Central Turkey to southern Transcaucasia, north-western Iran, western Turkmenistan and eastern Iraq
- G. c. cypriaca: Kárpathos, Rhodes and Cyprus
- G. c. zion: Southern Turkey, Syria, eastern Lebanon, and eastern Israel (south to Jerusalem)
- G. c. cinnamomina: Western Lebanon (west from Beirut) and north-western Israel (Mount Carmel and Haifa)
- G. c. magna: Southern Kazakhstan to eastern Mongolia and northern China (Inner Mongolia)
- G. c. leautungensis: Manchuria and north-eastern China
- G. c. coreensis: Korea
- G. c. iwanowi: Central Turkmenistan to Iran, Tadjikistan, Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan
- G. c. lynesi: Northern Kashmir (Gilgit Valley)
- G. c. kleinschmidti: North-western Morocco (east to Rif Mountains and south to Middle Atlas)
- G. c. riggenbachi: Western Morocco (Casablanca to Sous Valley)
- G. c. carthaginis: Coastal north-eastern Morocco to northern Tunisia (east to Sousse)
- G. c. balsaci: Coastal Mauritania
- G. c. arenicola: North-eastern Algerian Sahara to southern Tunisia and north-western Libya
- G. c. helenae: South-eastern Algeria and immediately adjacent south-western Libya
- G. c. festae: Coastal north-eastern Libya (Benghazi to Tobruq)
- G. c. brachyura: North-eastern Libya to coastal northern Egypt, northern Sinai, northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq
- G. c. nigricans: Northern Egypt (Nile Delta)
- G. c. maculata: Egypt (Nile Valley from Cairo to Aswan and El Faiyum)
- G. c. halfae: Egypt (Nile Valley south of Aswan) to extreme northern Sudan (Wadi Halfa)
- G. c. senegallensis: Southern Mauritania, Senegambia and Guinea-Bissau to Niger
- G. c. jordansi: Northern Niger (Aïr Mountains)
- G. c. alexanderi (zalingei): Northern Nigeria to western Sudan and north-eastern Zaire
- G. c. isabellina: Central Sudan (Kordofan to Nile Valley)
- G. c. altirostris: Eastern Sudan (east of Nile Valley) and Eritrea
- G. c. somaliensis: Northern Somalia, southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya
- G. c. tardinata: Southern Arabia
- G. c. chendoola: Foothills of southern Kashmir to east Pakistan, western and northern India and southern Nepal
Macrorhyncha is sometimes accepted as full species Maghreb Lark.
Open, dry country and cultivated land. Breeds on railway lines, harbours and industrial sites.
- Specifically for Iberia:
- Fine soils or sand
- Sand dunes, Dry saltmarsh edges and humanised habitats like farmland, dusty car parks and tracks.
- Percentage of woody vegetation cover usually very low and including substantial amount of bare ground. Can be near trees, these often Olive, Figs, Citrus, Carob or Almond.
- Often occurring in small niches of suitable habitats
Shuffling gait when feeding.
Rather 'heavy' and flapping action with marked undulations.
It is a ground nester. The clutch consists of 2-3 eggs.
The diet includes weed seeds and insects.
The long flight song can be difficult to separate from Thekla Lark
Listen in an external program
Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Dist. Gurgaon, Haryana, India, Feb-2013
Long call containing a variety of notes given by an individual perched on an excavated-earth mound.
Click images to see larger version
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
- Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
- Birdforum thread on habitat
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2021) Crested Lark. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 21 January 2021 from https://www.birdforum.net/wiki/Crested_Lark