Monday, 19 November 2012

Oriental skylark

Alauda gulgula

Photo by Rajiv Lather (Birding in India and South Asia)

Common name:
oriental skylark (en), laverca-oriental (pt); alouette gulgule (fr); alondra oriental (es); orientfeldlerche (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Alaudidae

This species is found in southern Asia, from northern Iran and souther Kazakhstan to eastern China and south to India, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

These birds are 15-16,5 cm long and weigh 24-30 g.

The oriental skylark is found in various open habitats, often near water bodies. These include grasslands, dry scrublands, saltmarshes, mudflats, saltflats, lakes and rivers, and arable land. They are found from sea level up to an altitude of 4.300 m.

They forage on the ground, taking seeds and insects, namely moths, caterpillars and other insect larvae. They often feed on fallen grain of all types of cultivated cereals.

The oriental skylark breeds in March-November. The nest is a shallow depression on the ground, lined with dry grasses, and often sheltered by a clod of earth, a tuft of grass or a small stunted scrub. there The female lays 2-5 greyish or yellowish eggs with fine brown spots, which she incubates alone for 10-11 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 10 days after hatching, but continue to rely on the parents for food for another 1-2 weeks. Each pair raises 2 broods per season.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be common to fairly common in most of this range. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat loss

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