1212. Alauda arvensis inopinata

(1212) Alauda arvensis inopinata Bianchi.
Alauda arvensis inopinata, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iii, p. 316.
The Tibetan Sky-Lark is found throughout Central, South and Eastern Tibet into the mountains of West and Central China.
Stevens did not observe any form of arvensis in Sikkim, but St. J. Hickley saw Larks breeding in open country North of Gnatong, though he unfortunately failed to obtain specimens. Sooner or later it is sure to be found breeding on the highlands near Tibet, so I include its nidification in this work. In Tibet in suitable places it is a very common bird.
Ludlow (Ibis, 1928, p. 72) writes :—“This bird is exceedingly common on the Gyantse Plain at all times of the year. It also occurs throughout the year at higher elevations provided there are fields and some attempt at cultivation. It does not inhabit waste lands.
"A few begin to soar towards the end of February, but it is not until April comes that this habit becomes general. Thence onwards right through the summer the whole Gyantse Valley rings with their song.
“The breeding season is a very protracted one, and I have taken eggs from early June till early September. Nests are always well concealed. Sometimes they are placed in the middle of barley fields, sometimes amidst clumps of the beautiful Tibetan Iris (Iris ensata), and sometimes in long grass on the banks separating the fields. Clutches vary from three to four, more often the former,”
Notes sent me with a long series of eggs from Tibet describe the nests as rather well-made cups of grass, fine roots and some¬times a few weed-stems, leaves etc. well lined with fine grass and placed on the ground in long gross, weeds or growing crops, generally the latter. Remains of nests sent to me agree with this description, in fact they seem to be just replicas of those of the English Sky-Lark.
The eggs, as Ludlow says, number three or four, hut I have also & few fives, though such are exceptional.
In colour they are wonderfully constant. The ground is a pale grey, rarely tinged with fawn or buff, and they are freely freckled all over with rather grey-brown, the markings nearly always more numerous at the larger end, occasionally forming caps or zones. Underlying are secondary freckles of lavender, hardly visible without a glass. A few clutches are more brown or more purple in tint, and I have one with a greenish ground heavily blotched with greenish- brown.
The eggs sent me were taken between the 24th May and the 4th August.
Fifty eggs average 23.1 x 10.9 mm. : maxima 25.2 x 16.9 and 23.0 x 17.4 mm. ; minima 21.4 x 10.3 and 22.4 x 18.1 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1212. Alauda arvensis inopinata
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Tibetan Sky Lark
Alauda gulgula inopinata
Vol. 3
Term name: 

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