The Eurasian Skylark, a feathered virtuoso of the vast open skies, is a melodious marvel that fills the heart with a symphony of joy. With its chestnut-brown plumage and pointed beak, it soars gracefully above the emerald meadows, trilling a song that echoes across the horizon. Like a tiny troubadour, the Skylark serenades the earth below with a chorus that dances on the winds, enchanting all who have the pleasure of hearing it. Its sweet, lilting melody is a reminder of the beauty that lies in the simplest things in life, and a testament to the power of nature’s gifts to stir the soul.
|Common Name||Eurasian Skylark|
|Scientific Name||Alauda arvensis|
|Colour (s)||Brown, beige, and black|
|Average Length||16 – 18 cm|
|Average Height||18 – 20 cm|
|Weight||40 – 60 g|
|Type of Bird||Songbird, passerine|
|Origin country (ies)||Most of Europe, Asia, and North Africa|
|Month it comes to India||October – March|
|Location in India||Throughout India, except for the arid western regions|
|IUCN status||Least Concern|
The Eurasian Skylark, also known as Alauda arvensis, is a small passerine bird that is widely distributed across Eurasia. The Eurasian Skylark stands at about 15-18 cm (6-7 inches) tall. It weighs between 35-45 grams (1.2-1.6 ounces). It measures about 16-18 cm (6.3-7.1 inches) in length. The wingspan of the Eurasian Skylark is about 28-33 cm (11-13 inches). The bird has a streaked brownish-grey upper body, with a pale breast and a distinctive crest on its head. It also has a short, straight bill and a long tail. The Eurasian Skylark is not known for its speed, as it spends most of its time flying low over fields and grasslands while searching for food.
It is a bird of open grasslands, fields, and meadows, and can also be found in cultivated areas.
The Eurasian Skylark is a highly vocal bird, known for its beautiful and complex song, which can be heard from great distances.
Habitat and Food
It is primarily a ground-nesting bird and is often found in open grasslands, meadows, agricultural fields, and other areas with low vegetation cover.
The Eurasian Skylark is an omnivorous species, feeding on a variety of food items depending on the season and availability. In the breeding season, they primarily feed on insects such as beetles, flies, and grasshoppers. They may also feed on seeds and other plant matter. During the non-breeding season, their diet shifts towards a greater proportion of seeds and grains, such as those found in agricultural fields.
The Eurasian Skylark’s habitat requirements are closely tied to the availability of open grasslands with low vegetation cover. They prefer areas with short grass and sparse vegetation, which allows them to forage for food and build nests on the ground. They may also use areas with tall vegetation for cover and protection from predators.
The Eurasian Skylark is a small migratory bird species that breeds across much of Europe and Asia, including parts of Russia, and migrates to various parts of South Asia, including India, during the non-breeding season.
Eurasian Skylarks that migrate to India originate from their breeding grounds in Europe and northern Asia. They undertake a long-distance migration of several thousand kilometers to reach India, crossing multiple countries along the way.
In India, Eurasian Skylarks arrive in large numbers starting in October and November and stay until March or April. They can be found in several states across India, including the northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan, as well as in parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
The purpose of Eurasian Skylarks coming to India is primarily for wintering and feeding, although some may also use India as a stopover during their migration further south. They prefer open grasslands, agricultural fields, and scrublands, which provide ample food sources such as insects and seeds.
Eurasian Skylarks usually begin to leave India in March or April, as they start their return journey to their breeding grounds in Europe and Asia. The exact timing of their departure may vary depending on factors such as weather conditions and food availability.
It is classified as a species of least concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it is not currently facing significant threats to its survival.
However, the population of Eurasian Skylarks has been declining in many parts of its range, particularly in agricultural landscapes where changes in farming practices have reduced suitable breeding habitat. Other threats include habitat loss due to urbanization and infrastructure development, predation by introduced species such as cats, and pesticide use.