Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)


Gives a bulkier impression than Skylark, with longer bill, heavier head and body, and broader tail. In flight broad wings and short tail prominent. Lacks white edges on wings. Orange buff underwings. Crest on rear crown spiky and uneven. Outer tail feathers rufous, not white. Occasional song-flight. Slower wing-beats than skylark. Very similar to Thekla Lark, and identification can be very difficult in areas where both species occur. The much used streaked-breast character is not always relevant because of regional variations. Then habitat, behaviour and voice becomes important to identification, and a combination of structural and plumage character should be used. Bill appears curved (because of straight lower mandible), crest spikier than Thekla, belly deeper, back less heavily streaked , tail coverts less rusty-brown, upper breast usually with less defined streaking. Eye-stripe buffish, rather than white behind eye. Less prone to perch on top of scrubs or bushes than Thekla, and prefers lower altitude .


Song: a mix of long whistling, fluting sounds, trills and mimicry. Full song quite similar to Thekla Lark. Rudiments of song are often heard and includes more melancholic whistling than Thekla. Contact call/alarm-call: May be the best characteristic to separate it from Thekla Lark where both species occur. Crested Lark call with 2-4 syllables, of which one is extended and fairly flat. The phrase has a less "bouncing" feel to it than Thekla Lark, lacking the accented rapid rise and fall in pitch of the extended note of Thekla Lark.


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Wikipedia: map (se also Xeno-canto below)


Birdlife ecology

Links: Latest observations

Video IBC

Image search Flickr NB! May give other species

Sound search at Xeno-canto



CC-sound:Peter Boesman, Licence,Link.

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