Belongs to: larks and pipits

Compare with: woodlark

Skylark Alauda arvensis

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Shelley's 'blithe spirit', a ground-nesting bird of open fields, famous for its warbling song

Habitat: large open fields with short vegetation, also saltmarsh and wasteland

Widespread resident, but in long term decline


Heavily streaked brown bird with small crest and white outer tail; 18 cm

Usually seen on or near the ground, except in its towering song flight in spring/early summer 

Main food is grain and weed seeds, also insects


Male sings to defend its territory and attract females, mainly from late January to the end of June

Nest is a cup made of grasses on the ground

2 or 3 broods of 3 or 4 greyish eggs, blotched brown, from April to June

© Alan Williams