854. Alaemon desertorum

854. Alaemon desertorum.

The Desert-Lark.

Alauda desertorum, Stanley in Salt's Exped. Abyss. App. p. lx (1814). Certhilauda desertorum (Stanl.), Blyth, Cat. p. 133; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 464; Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 438; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B. xli, pt. ii, p. 248; Hume, Cat. no. 770 ; Doig, S. F. ix, p. 281; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 284. Alaemon desertorum (Stanl.), Hume, S. F. i, p. 216 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 519 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 219.

Coloration. Upper plumage isabelline grey, tinged with ashy on the forehead and upper tail-coverts, which latter have dusky shafts ; middle pair of tail-feathers sandy brown, very broadly margined on both webs with bright fulvous; the other tail-feathers black, narrowly margined with fulvous, the outermost feather with a well-defined white margin occupying half the outer web ; wing-coverts brown, with broad fulvous margins, some of the greater coverts tipped white; primary-coverts black, tipped with white ; the first few primaries black, with white bases; the remaining primaries and secondaries white, with a black spot on the outer web, and a portion of the shaft also black; tertiaries like middle pair of tail-feathers ; feathers immediately next the nostrils fulvous; a black streak through the lores, with a white band above and below, the lower band continued under the eye ; a black band behind the eye, with a broad pale fulvous supercilium above it; cheeks and ear-coverts bright fulvous, divided by a blackish patch ; chin and throat white; fore neck and breast pale fulvous, with large black spots ; remainder of lower plumage white, the flanks shaded with brown.

Legs and feet china-white ; iris brown ; bill horny brown above, darkening at the tip ; lower mandible fleshy (Butler).

Size extremely variable, the female being apparently much smaller than the male.

Length 8.5 to 11; tail 3.3 to 4; wing 4.5 to 5.5 ; tarsus 1.2 to 1.3 ; bill from gape about 1.4.

Distribution. A permanent resident in Sind and Cutch, extending west through Afghanistan and Persia to Arabia and North-eastern Africa, and ranging in a modified form through Northern Africa.

Habits, &c. This Lark affects the desert and runs like a Plover. Stoliczka observed it on tracts of mud in the Rann of Cutch. It breeds in May and June, making a small nest of grass on the sand, and laying three eggs which are greyish white, marked with yellowish brown, and measure about 1.02 by .74.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
OATES EW. The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.2 1890.
Title in Book: 
854. Alaemon desertorum
Book Author: 
Eugene William Oates, Edited by William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Desert Lark
Desert Lark
Ammomanes deserti
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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