Crested Lark Galerida cristata
|The Crested lark is found in most countries of continental Europe except Scandinavia. It is also found in north Africa, central Asia as far as eastern India and China and most of the Middle East. Photos 1 to 3 were taken in Crete and show the subspecies G. c. meridionalis while photos 4 and 5 were taken in Abu Dhabi where the subspecies has not been positively identified but may be G. c. magna.|
|Its favoured habitat is open,
dry and relatively flat country with low, sparse vegetation. It
doesn't like to feel hemmed in and so is also attracted to
areas such as playing fields, railway yards and even harbours
provided there are grass seeds available.
Although it eats mainly seeds, it also eats invertebrates such as beetles. Photos 4 and 5 show some sort of grub in the bill of the bird.
|It is marginally larger than
arvensis, looks greyer and has a longer crest which is
visible at the rear of the head even when folded (as in photo 1)
whereas the shorter crest of the Skylark is invisible when
folded. It has a long, pointed bill with a straight lower edge to
It is very similar to the Thekla Lark Galerida thekla which, fortunately for my identification purposes, is restricted to the Iberian Peninsula and north Africa.
|The song is long and varied and often contains imitations of other birds. The commonest call is a musical "twee-tee-too"|
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