Includes Magreb Lark
- Galerida cristata
17–19 cm (6¾-7½ in)
- Dark streaked grey upperparts
- White underparts
- Long spiky erectile crest
- Reddish underwings
Flight outline shows broad rounded wings and a square tail.
Rare vagrant to the British Isles.
There are 38 subspecies:
- G. c. cristata: Central Europe to Slovenia, Belarus, northern Hungary, northern Ukraine
- G. c. pallida: Iberian Peninsula
- G. c. neumanni: Italy (Toscana south to Rome area)
- G. c. apuliae: Southern peninsular Italy and Sicily
- G. c. tenuirostris: Eastern Hungary and Romania to southern Russia and western Kazakhstan
- G. c. meridionalis: Southern Yugoslavia to mainland Greece, Ionian Islands, Crete and western Turkey
- G. c. caucasica: Eastern [[Aegean Islands, northern Turkey, southern Caucasus and western Transcaucasia
- G. c. subtaurica: Central Turkey to southern Transcaucasia, north-western Iran, western Turkmenistan and eastern Iraq
- G. c. cypriaca: Kárpathos, Rhodes and Cyprus
- G. c. zion: Southern Turkey, Syria, eastern Lebanon, and eastern Israel (south to Jerusalem)
- G. c. cinnamomina: Western Lebanon (west from Beirut) and north-western Israel (Mount Carmel and Haifa)
- G. c. magna: Southern Kazakhstan to eastern Mongolia and northern China (Inner Mongolia)
- G. c. leautungensis: Manchuria and north-eastern China
- G. c. coreensis: Korea
- G. c. iwanowi: Central Turkmenistan to Iran, Tadjikistan, Afghanistan and north-western Pakistan
- G. c. lynesi: Northern Kashmir (Gilgit Valley)
- G. c. kleinschmidti: North-western Morocco (east to Rif Mountains and south to Middle Atlas)
- G. c. riggenbachi: Western Morocco (Casablanca to Sous Valley)
- G. c. carthaginis: Coastal north-eastern Morocco to northern Tunisia (east to Sousse)
- G. c. balsaci: Coastal Mauritania
- G. c. arenicola: North-eastern Algerian Sahara to southern Tunisia and north-western Libya
- G. c. helenae: South-eastern Algeria and immediately adjacent south-western Libya
- G. c. festae: Coastal north-eastern Libya (Benghazi to Tobruq)
- G. c. brachyura: North-eastern Libya to coastal northern Egypt, northern Sinai, northern Saudi Arabia and southern Iraq
- G. c. nigricans: Northern Egypt (Nile Delta)
- G. c. maculata: Egypt (Nile Valley from Cairo to Aswan and El Faiyum)
- G. c. halfae: Egypt (Nile Valley south of Aswan) to extreme northern Sudan (Wadi Halfa)
- G. c. senegallensis: Southern Mauritania, Senegambia and Guinea-Bissau to Niger
- G. c. jordansi: Northern Niger (Aïr Mountains)
- G. c. alexanderi (zalingei): Northern Nigeria to western Sudan and north-eastern Zaire
- G. c. isabellina: Central Sudan (Kordofan to Nile Valley)
- G. c. altirostris: Eastern Sudan (east of Nile Valley) and Eritrea
- G. c. somaliensis: Northern Somalia, southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya
- G. c. tardinata: Southern Arabia
- G. c. chendoola: Foothills of southern Kashmir to east Pakistan, western and northern India and southern Nepal
- G. c. randonii: Hauts Plateaux of eastern Morocco and north-western Algeria
- G. c. macrorhyncha: Southern Morocco and north-western Algeria south of Atlas Saharien to west-central Mauritania
Subspecies macrorhyncha (and including randonii) was formerly accepted as full species Maghreb Lark.
Open, dry country and cultivated land. Breeds on railway lines, harbours and industrial sites.
- Specifically for Iberia:
- Fine soils or sand
- Sand dunes, Dry saltmarsh edges and humanised habitats like farmland, dusty car parks and tracks.
- Percentage of woody vegetation cover usually very low and including substantial amount of bare ground. Can be near trees, these often Olive, Figs, Citrus, Carob or Almond.
- Often occurring in small niches of suitable habitats
Shuffling gait when feeding.
Rather 'heavy' and flapping action with marked undulations.
It is a ground nester. The clutch consists of 2-3 eggs.
The diet includes weed seeds and insects.
The long flight song can be difficult to separate from Thekla Lark
Click images to see larger version
- 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/
- 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/
- Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
- Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
- Birdforum thread on habitat
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Crested Lark. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 6 December 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Crested_Lark
GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1