The Eurasian skylark (Alauda arvensis ) is a passerine bird in the lark family, Alaudidae. It is a widespread species found across Europe and the Palearctic with introduced populations in New Zealand, Australia and on the Hawaiian Islands. It is a bird of open farmland and heath, known for the song of the male, which is delivered in hovering flight from heights of 50 to 100 metres (160 to 330 ft). The sexes are alike. It is streaked greyish-brown above and on the breast and has a buff-white belly.Show More
The female Eurasian skylark builds an open nest in a shallow depression on open ground well away from trees, bushes and hedges. She lays three to five eggs which she incubates for around 11 days. The chicks are fed by both parents but leave the nest after eight to ten days, well before they can fly. They scatter and hide in the vegetation but continue to be fed by the parents until they can fly at 18 to 20 days of age. Nests are subject to high predation rates by larger birds and small mammals. The parents can have several broods in a single season.Show Less
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Partial migration is when within a migratory species or even within a single population, some individuals migrate while others do not.
The Eurasian skylark is a dull-looking passerine bird widespread across Europe and the Palearctic. It is a bird of open farmland and heath, known for the song of the male, which is delivered in hovering flight from heights of 50 to 100 meters (160 to 330 ft). The males and the females look alike; they are streaked greyish-brown above and on the breast and have a buff-white belly.
Eurasian skylarks breed across most of Europe and Asia and in the mountains of North Africa. They are mainly residents in the west of their range, but eastern populations are more migratory, moving further south in winter. Even in the milder west of their range, many birds move to lowlands and the coast in winter. Asian birds, appear as vagrants in Alaska. Eurasian skylarks inhabit farmlands, heathland, grasslands, meadows, steppes, coastal dunes, and edges of marshes.
Eurasian skylarks are diurnal birds; they feed by day walking over the ground searching for food on the soil surface. They are usually seen alone or in pairs but will gather in flocks during migration and at times of serve weather. Eurasian skylarks are famous for the song of the male, when the singing bird may appear as just a dot in the sky from the ground. The long, unbroken song is a clear, bubbling warble delivered high in the air while the bird is rising, circling, or hovering. The song generally lasts 2 to 3 minutes, but it tends to last longer later in the mating season when songs can last for 20 minutes or more.
Eurasian larks are monogamous breeders and form pairs. Nesting may start in late March or early April and pairs can raise up to 4 broods in a season. The nest is built by the female alone and is a shallow depression in the ground lined with grasses. The clutch is 3 to 5 eggs. They are incubated only by the female beginning after the last egg is laid and hatch synchronously after 11 days. The altricial (helpless) chicks are cared for by both parents and for the first week are fed almost exclusively on insects. The chicks leave the nest after 8 to 10 days, well before they can fly. They scatter and hide in the vegetation but continue to be fed by the parents until they can fly at 18 to 20 days of age. The young are independent of their parents after around 25 days and start to breed when they are one year of age.
Eurasian skylarks are threatened mainly due to changes in farming practices and only partly due to pesticides. In the past, cereals were planted in the spring, grown through the summer, and harvested in the early autumn. Cereals are now planted in the autumn, grown through the winter, and are harvested in the early summer. The winter-grown fields are much too dense in summer for Eurasian skylarks to be able to walk and run between the wheat stems to find their food.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total population size of the Eurasian skylark is 290,000,000-529,999,999 mature individuals. In Europe, the breeding population consists of 44,300,000-78,800,000 pairs, which equates to 88,700,000-158,000,000 mature individuals. National population estimates include around 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and around 1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in China; less than 50 individuals on migration and less than 50 wintering individuals in Taiwan; around 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and around 1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Korea; around 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and around 1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Japan and around 10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and around 1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.