(1216) Alauda gulgula australis.
The Small Nilgiri Sky-Lark.
Alauda australis Brooks, Str. Feath., i; p. 486 (1873) (Ootacamand). Alauda gulgula. Blanf. & Oates, ii, p. 326 (part).
Vernacular names. Bhuruta-pitta,Niala-pichike(Tel.); Vanam-badi, Pullu (Tam.); Bhurut (Hind.) ; Gomaritta (Cing ).
Description. Differs from the preceding bird in its brighter, more rufous upper parts and in the still more fulvous abdomen and flanks.
Colours of soft parts as in the other races.
Measurements. Wing 83 to 95 mm.; wing 51 to 57 mm.; tarsus 23 to 25 mm.; culmen 12 to 13 mm.
Distribution. South India and Ceylon. In India South of the last-named race.
Nidification. The Nilgiri Sky-Lark breeds in the hilly country of South India up to the extreme tops of the hills. The principal breeding-season is March to May but many birds breed again from August to November. The nest is just like that of the preceding race and two or three eggs are laid, very exceptionally four, similar to those of the other small Sky-Larks. Twenty eggs average 21.7 x 15.9 mm. but a larger series would undoubtedly measure less as two of my clutches are unusually large. Maxima 23.2 X 16.4 and 22.5 x 16.5 mm.; minima 19.5 x 14.3 and 20.1 x 14.2 mm.
Habits. Those of the species. It is found alike throughout the plains and up to the highest points in the hills of Southern India, wherever there is cultivation or open grass-land. In Ceylon it is found throughout the low country, except in the wetter tracts during the rainy season, and it also ascends the mountains as high as it can find suitable open country. Wait obtained it at 4,500 feet on the Uva plateau.