(1211) Alauda arvensis dulcivox.
The Eastern Sky-Lark.
Alauda dulcivox Brooks, Str. Feath., i, p. 484 (1873) (Plains, N.W. India). Alauda cinerascens Ehmcke, Jour. f. Orn., p. 313 <1904) (Barnaul in West Siberia). Alauda arvensis. Blanf. k Oates, ii, p. 324.
Vernacular names. Bhurut (Hind.).
Description. Feathers of the upper plumage and wing-coverts with dark brown centres and broad fulvous margins paling to greyish-fulvous on the extreme edges; the hind-neck generally shows a little white and black stippling forming a very indistinct collar; tail brown edged with fulvous, paling to grey ; the outer most pair of feathers all white on the outer and also on the inner web except on the basal margin; penultimate feather all white on the outer web and the next pair often narrowly edged with white; primaries edged with fulvous-white, outer secondaries edged with fulvous and tipped with white, innermost secondaries broadly margined all round with fulvous ; lores and a broad supercilium to the nape fulvous-white; cheeks and ear-coverts mixed fulvous and brown; lower plumage white washed with fulvous, more strongly on the flanks and breast; sides of chin, the throat, fore-neck, breast and flanks streaked with blackish-brown.
Colours of soft parts. Iris hazel or dark brown ; bill horny-brown above, yellowish-horny below; legs and feet fleshy-brown or pale yellowish-brown.
Measurements. Total length about 200 mm.; wing 105 to 120 mm. (nearly all over 110 mm.); tail 64 to 75 mm.; tarsus 23 to 25 mm.; culmen about 10 to 12 mm. The females are considerably smaller than the males.
Young birds have the upper parts very black, each feather fringed with fulvous becoming almost pure while at the tip; the wing-feathers are broadly edged with rufous-fulvous and the lower parts are more heavily spotted and streaked.
Distribution. West Siberia, Turkestan, Tian-Schan, Pamirs, Gilgit, Afghanistan and Baluchistan. In Winter it migrates to Northern Africa, Greece, Mesopotamia, Palestine and North-West India.
Nidification. There is nothing on record about the breeding of this widely spread form, but two clutches of eggs taken by Whitehead and Harington on the Afghan Frontier appear to belong to this race rather than to the much smaller A. gulgula inconspicua. They are quite typical Sky-Lark's eggs of the larger type with a close glossy texture and they measure between 23.1 and 25.1 mm. in length and between 16.3 and 18.0 mm. in breadth. They were taken, one on June 30 th and the other on July 20th at an elevation of 10,000 feet.
Habits. This is a common migrant to North-West India in Winter but Ticehurst did not obtain it in Sind and it is seldom found beyond the North-West Provinces and the Punjab. In Summer it is found in Afghanistan up to 15,000 feet.