Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Woodlark (Lullula arborea)

Description

This lark is smaller and more slender than the Skylark(Alauda arvensis)and the Crested Lark(Galerida cristata), measuring around 14 to 15 cm long, with a wingspan of 27 to 30 cm. The plumage is buff brown, with streaked upperparts and chest, distinguished from other larks by the broad, white supercilium which continues to nape. Black-and-white pattern of alula (first digit of wing) feathers very conspicious. The crown feathers can be raised to a small crest.The male Woodlark has a similar song flight to the Eurasian Skylark, though flutters more when rising and spirals upwards, circling the ground singing at a constant height.

Habitat

Requires habitat with short grass for feeding, higher vegetation for nesting, exposed trees or bushes as song-perches. Avoids intensive agriculture, but often favours neglected or abandoned farmland.

Diet

The Woodlark is primarily vegetarian as an adult but during the breeding season will also eat medium-sized insects. The diet is mainly composed of seeds and such insects as beetles, flies and moths.

Protection status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting Facts

The Woodlark is commemorated in two major poets, ‘The Woodlarks’ by Gerald Manley Hopkins, a British poet, and ‘To the Woodlark’ by Robert Burns, a Scottish Poet.

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