Alauda gulgula, Franklin.
767. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 434 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 2 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 419 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 197 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 130.
THE INDIAN SKY LARK.
Length, 6 to 6.5 ; wing, 3.25 to 3.75 ; tail, 2 to 2.25 ; tarsus, 1 ; bill at front, 0.5.
Bill homy-brown, pale beneath ; irides dark-brown; legs fleshy-brown.
Above the feathers are dark-brown, with fulvous margins; beneath fulvescent-white, deeper on the breast, and spotted or streaked with dusky ; ear-coverts spotted and tipped dusky; a pale eye-streak; the erectile feathers of the head moderately elongated. Some specimens have a rufous tinge on the upper tail-coverts, and also margining the large quills, more especially the secondaries, while the coverts are edged with grey; the tail has the outermost feather almost wholly fulvescent white, and the penultimate one has its outer web, and sometimes the tip of the inner web of the same tint.
The Indian Sky Lark occurs in suitable places throughout the region. It is a permanent resident, breeding about the commencement of May ; the nest, a shallow cup, composed of grass stems, is placed in a depression, scratched by the birds under the shelter of a clod of earth or tuft of grass.
The eggs, four or five in number, are moderately elongated or broadish ovals; they vary much in coloring, but are mostly of two types; the first or commonest has a creamy-white ground, profusely speckled and freckled with excessively fine specks and spots of dull purplish-grey and pale brownish-yellow ; in the second type the color is white, and the markings are much darker in shade. They measure 0'8 inches in length by 0.61 in breadth.