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Asian Short-toed Lark - BirdForum Opus

Photo by BIJ
Yeyahu Nature Reserve, Beijing, China, June 2009
Alaudala cheleensis

Calandrella cheleensis


13–14 cm


Asia: found in Russia, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, China, Tibet, Pakistan, India, eastern and western Himalayas,
Southeast Asia: occurs only in Indochina and Myanmar


Photo by BIJ
Yeyahu, Beijing, China, June 2009

This taxon was formerly included in Lesser Short-toed Lark (sensu lato).


Two subspecies are recognized[1].

  • A. c. leucophaea
  • A. c. kukunoorensis
  • northwestern and north central China (Xinjiang, northern Qinghai, western Inner Mongolia, northern Gansu, Ningxia, possibly to northern Shaanxi); eastern border uncertain, and intergrades with cheleensis; population in western China (Xinjiang) probably should be recognized as a separate taxon, seebohmi; probably resident and southwestern Mongolia
  • A. c. tuvinica
  • A. c. cheleensis
  • northeastern China (central and eastern Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang) and northern Mongolia and adjacent parts of southern Siberia; the Mongolian populations are largely migratory, although they probably winter within the range of the subspecies


Grassland and wetland



Their varied diet includes insects, bulbs, seeds and fruits.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.2). Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Avibase
  4. Birdforum Member observations

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