542. THE SHORE-LARK.
Otocorys alpestris (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 289 (1766) ; (Wilson) Am. Orn. i. p. 85, pl. 5, fig. 4 ; (Naum.) iv. p. 149, Taf. 99 ; (Hewitson) i. p. 178, pl. xlv ; (Gould) B. of E. iii. pl. 164 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit, iii. pl. 18 ; Newton, i. p. 604 ; Dresser, iv. p. 387, pl. 243 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xiii. p. 541 ; Saunders, p. 259 ; Lilford, iv. p. 1, pl. 1 ; Ridgway, p. 348.
Lodola-gola-gialla, Ital. ; Berglerche, German ; Bergleeuwerik, Dutch ; Bjoerglaerke, Dan. and Norweg. ; Berglarka, Swed. ; Tunturileivonen, Kello-lintu, Finn. ; Ruossa-alap, Lapp. ; Javronok-snejny, Russ.
Male ad. (Lapland). A band across the fore-crown and an elongated tuft on each side of the crown, lores and cheeks black ; forehead and a stripe surrounding the ear-coverts pale sulphur yellow ; hind-crown, nape, and upper parts pinkish brown, the back striped with brown ; quills dark brown ; wing-coverts pinkish brown, all margined and tipped with white ; central rectrices reddish brown, the rest black margined with white ; a large pectoral shield black, separated from the black on the head ; chin and throat pale sulphur yellow ; rest of the under parts white, the flanks streaked with brown and washed with reddish brown ; bill greyish black, paler at the base below ; legs blackish ; iris dark brown. Culmen 0.65, wing 4.0, tail 2.8, tarsus 0.88, hind-toe with claw 0.6 inch. Female smaller and duller in colour. In the winter the colours are obscured by yellowish brown margins to the feathers and the yellowish colour is deeper.
Hab. Northern portions of both continents, in winter found in continental Europe, down to the Mediterranean (rarely), Great Britain, and in Asia to N. China; North-eastern North America, in winter south to the Carolinas, Illinois, &c.
Frequents like other Larks open places, stubble fields and fallow land, where in winter it roams about in flocks, feeding on grain and seeds, and is also often mot with on the sea coast and is tame and tolerably easy of approach. It breeds in the north of Europe, Asia, and America ; in Scandinavia on the fells, and in Finmark even on the seashore, nidification commencing in May, and two broods are generally reared in the season. Its call-note is beautiful, like the sound of a bell, and it is an excellent songster, its song somewhat resembling that of the Skylark, and is uttered when the bird is on the wing, but also when it is perched on a stone or on the ground. The nest, which is placed on the ground, is constructed of grass-bents and plant-stems lined with plant cotton or reindeer hair, and the eggs, 4 or 5 in number, are yellowish grey spotted with wood- brown surface-markings and a few indistinct grey shell-blotches, and occasionally with a few blackish lines. In size they average about 0.88 by 0.61.
542. Otocorys alpestris
542. THE SHORE-LARK.