woodlark



woodlark defined in 1930 year

woodlark - Woodlark;
woodlark - Upper parts reddish brown, the centre of each feather dark brown; a distinct yellowish white streak above the eye, extending to the back part of the head; under parts yellowish white streaked with dark brown. Tail very short. Length, six and a half inches.

In appearance the woodlark is a lesser skylark, with a shorter tail in proportion to the body, and no apparent difference in colour, except that the spots on the breast and the pale streak over the eye are more conspicuous. It ranks with the six or eight finest British songsters, but is the least known of all. The tree-pipit, sometimes called woodlark, is a much better known songster. When the wood- lark is seen and heard he is taken by most people for the skylark. The mistake is easily made, the song having the same character, and is a continuous stream of jubilant sound, delivered in the same manner; for the woodlark, too, soars,' and soaring, sings.' He differs from the skylark in his manner of rising: that bird goes up and up, not quite vertically, but inclining now to this side, now to that, with intervals of suspension, but still as if drawn heavenwards by an invisible cord or magnet; the woodlark ascends in circles, and finally does not attain to so great a height. He also sings on his perch on a tree, and rises from the tree to sing aloft, and in this habit he is like the tree-pipit. Although the woodlark's song resembles that of the larger bird in character, there is more sameness in the flow of sounds, and it is not so powerful; on the other hand, the sounds are sweeter in quality. Of the two, he is the more constant singer, and may be heard in mild weather throughout the autumn and winter months. His usual call is a melodious double note.

The woodlark is very local in its distribution; it is nowhere common, and its range in this country is a somewhat limited one. In the north of England it is very rare, and in Scotland it has only once been observed breeding. In Ireland it breeds in some localities. It inhabits wooded parks and the borders of woods and commons, and grass-lands in the vicinity of trees and hedgerows; for although it feeds, roosts, and nests on the ground, it must, like the tree-pipit, have trees to perch on; and, like that bird, it has a favourite perch, where it may be confidently looked for at any hour of the day during the spring and summer months.

The nest is placed in a slight hollow in the ground, under a bush, or sheltered by grass and herbage, and is formed of dry grass and moss, and lined with finer grass and hair. The eggs are four or five in number, buffish or faint greenish white in ground-colour, freckled and spotted with reddish brown, with purple-grey under-markings. Three, and even four, broods are said to be reared in the season.

In autumn and winter the woodlarks unite in families or small flocks, and at this season they have a partial or internal migration, the birds that breed in the northern counties moving south. In the southern and south-western comities they remain stationary, and it is observed that during a spell of mild weather in winter these small flocks break up, but re-form at the return of cold.

Besides the two indigenous larks, we have as rare stragglers the following four species: the created lark (Alauda cristata), an inhabitant of Europe and Asia; the short-toed lark (Calendrella brachydactylo), from southern Europe; the white-winged lark (Melanocorypha sibirica), a Siberian species, obtained once in England; and the shore-lark (Otocorys alpestris), an irregular winter visitor from North Europe, Asia, and America.

near woodlark in Knolik


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