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Iraq - lark? (1 Viewer)


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I saw several birds the other morning here in the northern-most (western) bit of Iraq. The birds were usually perched quite prominently on wires, tops of bushes and in trees, and singing incessantly. This is partly why I thought they were larks - I thought I could figure out which one when I got home, but didn't realize there are 16 on the country list! There were at least 3 or maybe 4 in a cemetery, a part which had trees, bushes and a bit of flowing water, a mixed but basically open habitat. One chased another at one point.

They were not the usual Crested Larks we have here: this song was not melodic at all really - I've attached an amplification of my phone recording, it may help. The birds were fairly nondescript - "sparrow-like" coloring, shades of beige to brown. I did not notice any distinctive markings around the eyes; the bill was large and a bit conical but not really notable; there was no sign of a crest. There was a kind of wing bar (greater coverts?) and some of the feathers (tertials or scapulars - I forget) had very dark centers, with light fringes. I did notice the legs were fairly pink (or possibly a light orange?).

After looking in the books I realized some of the features I should have looked harder at, but can anyone give help on this?


  • possible lark.mp3
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Ah, my first thought was a bunting. I've never seen a Corn Bunting before, but I see it is a fairly large bunting, and larger than some of the lark choices I considered. The song does make much more sense for a bunting.

Looking at pictures I was reminded that the birds I saw had some, but not extensive stripes on the breast, not so much the chin. I see that the Turkish area subspecies could be less streaked, so that sounds good.

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