862. Calandrella brachydactyla.
The Short-toed Lark.
Alauda brachydactyla, Leisler, Wetterau Gesellsch. Ann. iii, pp. 357-359 (1812). Calandrella brachydactyla (Leisl.), Hume, S. F. i, p. 213; Adam, S. F. i, p. 389; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 500; Hume, S. F. vii, p. 66; id. Cat. no. 761 (pt.); Biddulph, Ibis, 1881, p. 88 (pt.) ; Scully, Ibis, 1881, p. 579; Biddulph, Ibis, 1882, p. 285 (pt.); Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 279 (pt.) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xiii, p. 580.
Coloration. Upper plumage sandy buff, each feather broadly centred or streaked with dark brown or black, the upper tail-coverts more sandy than the other parts; wing-coverts and quills dark brown broadly edged with fulvous ; middle pair of tail-feathers dark brown broadly edged with rufous ; the next three pairs dark brown, very narrowly margined with fulvous; the penultimate dark brown, with the terminal half of the outer web very pale buff ; the outermost with the outer web nearly entirely pale buff, and the inner web with the inner half brown and the outer half whitish ; lores and a supercilium pale buff; ear-coverts hair-brown ; sides of the neck pale brown; lower plumage dull white, the breast washed with brown ; the breast is frequently streaked with darker brown, but sometimes perfectly plain ; there is almost always a dusky or blackish patch on each side of the breast.
Iris brown; legs and feet brownish flesh-colour ; upper mandible dark horny brown; lower mandible pale fleshy (Butler).
Length about 6.5 ; tail 2.4; wing 3-5 to 3.8; tarsus .8 ; bill from gape .55.
Distribution. A winter visitor to the north-west portion of the Empire, west of a line drawn roughly from Bombay to Kumaun. This species ranges into Turkestan and extends westwards to Europe and Northern Africa.