SkylarkScientific name: Alauda arvensis
Did you know: The Skylark’s melodious song has inspired countless works of literature, art, and music, from Chaucer to Shelley, and from classical compositions to jazz!
What Do Skylarks Look Like? (how to identify them)
The Skylark, a bird slightly larger in size than a sparrow yet smaller compared to a starling, is distinguished by its streaky brown feathers, a tiny crest that raises when alarmed or excited, and a tail with white sides.
Its white rear wing edges are notably visible during flight. Famous for its vertical display flight, the Skylark’s recent dramatic population decline classifies it in the Red List category.
Differences Between Male And Female Skylarks
Male and female Skylarks appear quite similar at a glance. However, males are distinguishable by their broader wings, a trait that assists in their characteristic hovering flights. This difference is thought to be an evolutionary adaptation, influenced by female Skylarks’ preference for males who demonstrate longer, more vigorous flights, indicating better overall fitness.
What Do Skylarks Eat?
Skylarks primarily feed on seeds and insects. They forage on the ground, picking up food from the soil surface. While seeds form a large part of their diet year-round, insects become crucial during the summer months. Unlike finches, Skylarks swallow seeds without removing the husk.
Where Do Skylarks Live? (inc. migration info)
Skylarks inhabit a range of environments across Britain, including upland areas, farmlands, grasslands, heathlands, and coastal regions. These birds are predominantly resident in the UK, but some populations migrate to lowlands and coasts during winter. Notably, the species is widespread and can be found in various habitats, from grasslands to wetlands.
Bird Calls & Songs (the unique voices of Skylarks)
The Skylark is celebrated for its song – a long, bubbling warble delivered during high hovering flights. These song-flights can last up to an hour, with the bird reaching heights of up to 300 metres.
Additionally, Skylarks also sing from perches like fence posts or rocks. Their song is a defining feature of UK farmland and grassland habitats.
Fun Skylark Facts (kid friendly)
- Skylarks can sing for up to 20 minutes or more, especially later in the mating season.
- They build their nests on the ground, with the female laying 3-5 eggs.
- Skylark chicks become independent just two weeks after hatching.
- A Skylark’s song flight can reach up to 300 metres in height.
- Despite their small size, Skylarks have a wingspan of 30-36 cm.
- The female Skylark incubates her eggs for about 11 days.
- Skylarks can have several broods in a single breeding season.
- The Skylark’s diet includes seeds and insects.
- They are known for their vertical display flight, unique among birds.
- The Skylark is a Red List species due to its recent population decline.
Facts About The SkylarkDiet: Seeds and insects.
Bird Family: Larks
Scientific Name: Alauda arvensis
The Skylark Can Be Seen In The UK During The Following Months