863. Calandrella dukhunensis.
The Rufous Short-toed Lark.
Emberiza baghaira, Franhl. P. Z. S. 1831, p. 119 (descr. nulla). Alauda dukhunensis, Sykes, P. Z. S. 1832, p. 93. Calandrella brachydactyla (Temm.), Blyth,- Cat. p. 132: Jerd. B. I. ii, p. 426; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 423; Fairbank, S. F. iv, p. 261; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 223; Hume, Cat. no. 761 (pt.) ; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 337 ; Butler, S. F. ix, p. 418; Reid, S. F. x, p. 58; Davidson, S. F. x, p. 314; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 279 (pt.). Coryphidea calandrella (Bonelli), Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 472. Alauda (Calandrella) brachydactyla, Temm. Blanf. J. A. S. B. xii, pt. ii, p. 62. Calandrella dukhunensis, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 584.
Baghaira, Bagheyri, Baghoda, Hind.
Coloration. Resembles C. brachydactyla, but has the whole lower plumage fulvous, darker on the breast and sides of the body; the upper plumage also a rich fulvous: has a longer wing.
Iris brown; legs and feet brownish flesh-colour, dusky at the joints; bill dark horny brown above, pale flesh below (Butler).
Length about 6.5; tail 2.4; wing 3.8 to 4.1 ; tarsus .8; bill from gape .6.
This appears to me to be an easily recognizable form of Short-toed Lark with quite a distinct area of distribution from C. brachydactyla. I have examined specimens killed in India from August to April. The deep fulvous lower plumage combined with the longer wing suffice to separate this species from C. brachydactyla when the plumage is in good order.
Distribution. The whole of India east of a line drawn roughly from Bombay to Kumaun, and as far south as Belgaum, extending into Assam, and more rarely into Pegu. This species also extends into Tibet and probably breeds there or in Central Asia. It is very probable that some of these Larks may also remain in the plains of India or in the Himalayas to breed, but a great majority are winter visitors.
Habits, &c This Short-toed Lark frequents open ground, cultivated or waste, and is generally found in small flocks, which, about the end of March, associate together, often forming assemblages of many thousand birds. At this season these Larks are fat and are killed in great numbers for food ; they are commonly known by Europeans throughout India as Ortolans.