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Greater Short-toed Lark

Short-toed Lark
Scientific classification
Species: brachydactyla
Binomial name
Calandrella brachydactyla

The Short-toed Lark, or Greater Short-toed Lark, Calandrella brachydactyla is a small passerine bird. It breeds in southern Europe, northwest Africa, and across temperate Asia from Turkey and southern Russia to Mongolia.

All but some southernmost populations are migratory, wintering south to the southern edge of the Sahara and India. This species is a fairly common wanderer to northern and western Europe in spring and autumn.

This is a common bird of dry open country and cultivation. It nests on the ground, laying two to three eggs. Its food is seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.

This is a small pale lark, smaller than Skylark. It is dark-streaked greyish-brown above, and white below, and ahs a strong pointed bill. It has a pale supercilium, dark patches on each side of its neck and a dark tail. Some birds in the west of the range have a rufous crown. The sexes are similar.

The song varies between a dry twittering and a more varied and imitative melody.

Care must be taken to distinguish this species from other similar Calandrella larks, such as the Lesser Short-toed Lark, Calandrella rufescens.