• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Eurasian Skylark - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by IanF
Seaton Common, Seaton Carew, Cleveland, UK, May 2009
Alauda arvensis

Includes Japanese Skylark

Identification

Photo © by the late Mahsleb
Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve, Essex, UK, June 2008

16–19 cm (6¼-7½ in)

  • Brown above with streaked back
  • Buff, dark streaked breast
  • Streaked crown with crest
  • White belly and undertail coverts
  • White supercilium
  • White outer tail feathers
  • Thin bill
  • Pink legs

Similar Species

Photo © by gaviao-real
Maashorst, Netherlands, August 2007

Similar to Oriental Skylark but can be distinguished by larger size, thicker bill, longer tail, white trailing edge to wings and whiter outer tail feathers. The primary projection is longer. Call is different.

Distinguished from Japanese Skylark by lack of rufous shoulder.

For differences between Eurasian Skylark and Meadow Pipit see this thread in Tips for New Birders Forum

Distribution

Breeds across most of Europe and Asia and in the mountains of North Africa. It is mainly resident in the west of its range, but eastern populations are more migratory, moving further south in winter. Even in the milder west of its range, many birds move to lowlands and the coast in winter. Asian birds appear as vagrants in Alaska; this bird has been introduced to Hawaii and British Columbia, Canada.

Taxonomy

ssp japonia
Photo © by Francksan.
Hokkaido, Japan

Subspecies

Juvenile
Photo © by Donald Talbott
Loch Na Keal, Isle of Mull, Scotland, UK, August 2018

There are 13 subspecies[1]:
European Group

  • A. a. arvensis:
  • A. a. scotica:
  • A. a. guillelmi:
  • A. a. sierrae:
  • A. a. harterti:
  • Mountains of north-western Africa
  • A. a. cantarella:
  • A. a. armenica:

Asian Group

  • A. a. dulcivox:
  • A. a. kiborti:
  • A. a. intermedia:
  • South-eastern Siberia to lower Amur River and north-eastern Manchuria; winters to eastern China
  • A. a. pekinensis:
  • North-eastern Siberia to Sea of Okhotsk, Kamchatka Pen. and Kuril Islands
  • A. a. lonnbergi:
  • Shantar and Sakhalin islands (Sea of Okhotsk); winters to Japan
  • A. a. japonica:

Habitat

Breeds in open countryside, fields, moors, rough grazing and sand dunes, etc.
Winters beside estuaries, on golf courses and cultivated land.

Behaviour

Gregarious in winters and often in large flocks. Often Dust bathes.

Diet

The diet includes seeds and insects.

Breeding

The 3-5 eggs are a dirty white colour and heavily marked with dark brown spots and blotches. They are incubated for 11-12 days; the young fledge 9-10 days later. There can be 2 or even 3 broods. The nest is well hidden in the grass.

Vocalisation

Song: is delivered from high in the sky.

Listen in an external program

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. mbr-pwrc.usgs
  3. Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs

Recommended Citation

External Links


Top