861. Alauda gulgula.
The Indian Sky-Lark.
Alauda gulgula, Frankl. P. Z. S. 1831, p. 119 ; Blyth, Cat. p. 132 ; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 434; Hume & Henders. Lah. to Yark. p. 269, pl. xxix ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 40 ; Brooks, S. F. i, p. 485 ; Hume, N. & E. p. 486 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 630; Hume, Cat. no. 767; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 338 ; Oates, B. B. i, p. 373 ; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 282 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 575; Oates in Hume's N. & F. 2nd ed. ii, p. 221. Alauda triborhyncha, Hodgs. in Cray's Zool. Misc. p. 84 (1844, descr. nulla) ; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 467 (part.). Alauda malabarica, Scop, apud Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 467. Alauda australis, Brooks, S. F. i, p. 486 (1873) ; Hume, Cat. no. 768. Alauda peguensis, Oates, S. F. iii, p. 343 (1875).
Buruta-pitta, Niala pichike, Tel.; Manam-badi, Tam.; Bhurut, Hind. ; Bee-lone, Burm.; Gomarita, Cing.
Coloration. So similar to A. arvensis as to require no separate description. Differs in being constantly smaller, the wing seldom exceeding 3.5.
There are as many races of this Lark as there are of A. arvensis, but they are equally unworthy of recognition, as they are based on points of size and colour which are by no means constant or even definable.
Sharpe is of opinion that A. gulgula differs from A. arvensis in having paler under wing-coverts, and by the almost entire absence of flank-stripes. These points may be of service in discriminating between the two birds, but the only character which is of real use seems to me to be that of size.
Mouth yellowish ; upper, mandible dark horn; lower mandible pinkish fleshy, dusky at the tip ; iris brown ; eyelids plumbeous; legs fleshy brown ; claws pale horn-colour.
Length about. 6.5 ; tail 2.3; wing 3.4; tarsus .9 ; bill from gape .75.
Distribution. Every portion of the Empire and Ceylon, except Tenasserim, south of Moulmein, and the middle ranges of the Himalayas, where this Lark is absent or comparatively rare. A specimen of a Lark procured by Brooks at Almorah, however, appears to be referable to this species. It has not been recorded from the Andamans or Nicobars.
Habits, &c. Breeds throughout India apparently from April to June and in Burma from December to April, constructing a nest similar to that of A. arvensis, and laying similar eggs, which are, however, somewhat smaller, and measure about .8 by .61. The habits of this species closely resemble those of the European Skylark, the song is similar and is uttered in the same manner as the bird soars. Both species associate in flocks in the winter.