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Order Song birds/Passeriformes, Family Larks/Alaudidae

Eurasian Skylark/Alauda arvensis - Male

L 16-18 cm. Breeds commonly in open, cultivated land, also on meadows and heaths. Mainly resident, but influx in winter from N. Large flocks may congregate on stubble fields and grass steppe in winter.
IDENTIFICATION: Greyish-brown, streaked above and on breast; breast buff, belly white. Streaking of breast ends rather abruptly above unmarked belly. male can erect blunt crest on crown (Crested Lark has longer and more pointed crest). Often seen on fields and along roadsides; when approached, it first squats, then ‘catapults’ up, retreating a short distance low over ground with fluttering wings and half-spread, lowered tail, the brown bird showing thin, diffuse (brownish-white) trailing edge to wing and white sides of tail. Sings sometimes (often at dawn) from perch but usually in typical songflight, climbing higher and higher on fluttering wings, and eventually stays at one spot at 50-100(150) m, difficult to detect. At end of song-flight descends while singing, but falls silently to ground the last stage with folded wings.
VOICE: A variety of calls, all rather dry rolling sounds, e.g. ‘prreet’, ‘prrlyh’, ‘prrüt-üt’ and ‘prreeh-e’. Sometimes, often when anxious, a more piping ‘p(r)eeh’. Sings from late winter until midsummer, from first light to evening. Song is an incessant outpour of rolling, chirruping and whistling notes at fast pace and for periods lasting 3-15 min., some notes being repeated and varied, and with a few imitations (of e.g. Green Sandpiper, Barn Swallow) woven in.

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