560. SHORT-TOED LARK.
Calandrella brachydactyla (Leisl.) Wetter. Annal. iii. p. 357, Tab. xix. (1814) ; (Naum.) iv. p. 188, Taf. 98, fig. 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. iii. pl. 163 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iii. pl. 21 ; (Hewitson), i. p. 181,pl. xlv. fig. 4 ; Newton, i. p. 637 ; Dresser, iv. p. 341, pl. 235 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xiii. p. 580 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 415 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 327 ; Saunders, p. 255 ; Lilford, iv. p. 9, pl. 5 ; C. kollyi, (Temm.) Pt., col, iii. pl. 305, fig. 1. (1824) ; C. hermonensis, Tristr. P.Z.S., 1864, p. 434 : C. dukhunensis (Sykes), P.Z.S., 1832, p. 93 ; C. tibetana, Brooks, Str. F. 1880, p. 488 ; C. acutirostris, Hume and Henderson, Lah. to Yark., p. 265 (1873).
La Calandrelle, French ; Carreirola, Portug. ; Terrera, Span. ; Calandrino, Ital. ; Isabelle-Lerche, German ; Maloui-Javronok, Russ. ; Baghaira, Hindu.
Male ad. (S. Europe). Upper parts rufous candy brown streaked with blackish brown ; superciliary streak creamy white ; quills blackish brown, the outer web of first quill creamy white ; secondaries and wing- coverts margined with creamy buff, the inner secondaries much elongated nearly reaching the tip of the wing ; middle rectrices dark brown margined with rufous buff ; outer rectrices with the outer web and terminal portion buffy white or white ; remaining tail-feathers blackish brown ; under parts white ; breast washed with buff ; a blackish brown patch on each side of the upper breast ; flanks washed with buff ; bill dull horn-brown, paler below ; legs pale brown ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.4 to 5, wing 3.5 to 2.75, tail 2.4 to 2.6, tarsus 0.75 to 0.8, hind-toe with claw 0.55, 0.6 inch. Sexes alike except that the female is somewhat smaller. The young bird has the upper parts variegated with light reddish brown, black and white, the elongated inner secondaries with a purplish gloss, tail tipped with pale buff.
Hab. Central and Southern Europe ; North Africa ; Asia east to Lake Baikal ; Mongolia and North China, south to Northern India in winter ; of rare occurrence in England and also on Heligoland. In the southern part of its range it is chiefly resident.
Frequents the lowlands, in summer chiefly sandy plains, and is tame and confiding in its general habits. Its song is short and not of a high quality, and is uttered either when the bird is on the wing or when perched on a clod or stone. Its food consists chiefly of small seeds of various kinds. In winter it collects in large flocks and ranges about the fields or plains in search of food. Its nest, which is placed on the ground in a hoof-print or any depression in the soil, usually at the foot of a tuft of grass or a low bush, is a rather loose structure of grass-bents, lined with wool or feathers, and sometimes hair. The eggs, 4 to 5 in number, are usually deposited in May, and are dull white dotted or blurred with hair brown, and measure about 0.77 by 0.62.
Dr. Sharpe recognizes C. dukhunensis, tibetana, and acutirostris as separable from C. brachydactyla, C. dukhunensis as being larger and generally more rufous ; C. tibetana as being usually greyer in tone of colour, and having more white on the outer tail-feather ; and C. acutirostris in being also greyer, but having less white on the outer tail-feathers, but I cannot find that these small differences hold good in a series, and therefore prefer uniting all with C. brachydadyla.
560. Calandrella brachydactyla
560. SHORT-TOED LARK.