Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Black Lark

Black Lark
Scientific classification
Species: yeltoniensis
Binomial name
Melanocorypha yeltoniensis

The Black Lark, Melanocorypha yeltoniensis, breeds in southeast Russia and Kazakhstan. It is partially migratory, with birds from the northwest of its breeding range moving south-east to winter further into Russia, as far as the Black Sea.

It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe, but, amazingly, there was a record of an adult male as far west as Anglesey, Wales in spring 2003.

This is a bird of open steppe, often near water. Its nest is on the ground, with 4-5 eggs being laid. Food is seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season. It is gregarious in winter.

This is a large, robust lark. The adult male is unmistakable, being all black with some pale feather fringes on its back, and with a yellowish or pink bill. The female is undistinguished in comparison, mainly dark-blotched grey above and paler below. Her legs and underwing are black

The song is like a frantic version of that of Skylark.