Crested Lark

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Common Name: Crested Lark
Scientific Name: Galerida cristata

Size: 6.7 inches (17cm)

Habitat: Eurasia and Africa; open territories, steppes and meadows in southern and central Europe, as well as North Africa and the Middle East. They prefer territories with scarce vegetation and few trees. Populations living more to the north, migrate to warmer areas when the winter comes, while those Larks living in half-deserts, such as in Saudi Arabia, stay at the same place all year round.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 20,000,000 - 100,000,000 Mature individuals. The population is estimated to be in decline following regional declines in recent decades, probably owing to habitat loss and degradation (intensive farming and usage of pesticides destroy the Crested Larks’ nests).

Diet: Mostly seeds; insects during breeding season. Larks look for food on the ground, searching the top layer of the soil and catching bugs, crickets, larvae, spiders and ants with the strong beak.

Breeding: Male and female look alike. In spring, Crested Lark males start looking for a partner – running around; singing, flapping the wings and stretching the neck are all parts of the mating ritual. After a partner has been found, the female builds a nest on the ground and lays 2-4 eggs, which are then incubated for 12-14 days. The male keeps the territory safe of predators and rivals. If another Crested Lark enters the territory, the male tries to daze them with a loud song.

Chicks leave the nest 9 days after hatching, but the parents keep feeding them for 20 more days – until they have learned to fly.

Cool Facts: The Crested Lark can easily be recognized by the prominent crest on the head. If aroused, the bird raises the crest.

Found in Songbird ReMix European Edition 2

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