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Greater short-toed lark


Common name Greater short-toed lark
Scientific name Calandrella brachydactyla
Type Farmland birds
Status Summer

Small bird (about 14 cm or 5.5 in) with earth-tone plumage, especially on the back, lighter in the underparts. It exhibits dark dorsal stretch marks but lacks speckles or bars in the belly. White breast with dark spots (like the Calandra Lark) on both sides of the neck. Short bill. It lacks a crest and a clear visible eyebrow stands out on the head. In flight clear wings and a dark tail are observed.


Cultivated areas

Where it lives

Species linked to rainfed cereal crops and steppes in general. It prefers low-altitude farmlands, grasslands and fallows in warm areas.

How it lives

Long distance migratory bird (it crosses the Sahara, unique case among larks) with presence as a breeder in the province and that can also be observed during its migratory passage. This lark breeds from March. Nest on the ground. It lays from 3 to 6 eggs in May and feeds on seeds and invertebrates.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

The Greater Short-Toed Lark is a scarce bird, rare and with very localized populations in the province. The best areas to watch it are the regions of Antequera and Guadalteba. In migratory passage it can be located at the mouth of the Guadalhorce.

Curious facts

The "brown birds" are one of the most complicated groups to identify among the bird fauna. There are some linked to the scrub (Sardinian warblers), some to the banks and wetlands (Grass, Melodious and Reed warblers) and others to the grass, farmland or steppe habitats (larks). The Greater Short-Toed larks are of this last type of habitat, specialists in camouflage among the "clods" of the carved soil, but not for that reason impossible to observe and identify.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration