Sunday, 20 November 2011

Crested Lark (Galerida cristata)

Latin Etymology: Galerida ("lark with a crest") cristata ("crested")
Adult Crested Lark (subspecies G. c. pallida) in Farmland near Madrid, Spain - June 2015

Featured Subspecies: Galerida cristata pallida
Weight: 37-55g  /  Length: 17cm  /  Wingspan: 29-38cm
ABSENT FROM UK / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The crested lark is a lark found widely throughout most of mainland Europe, but is absent from the British Isles. In Southern Spain at least it is fairly widespread, found on open ground, both in the countryside, or even, in this case, in the middle of cities - this particular individual was in the middle of Seville city center alongside the canal.  They get their name from their crest, which when raised is far more striking than the Skylark.  I saw this species again on my visits to Madrid, but unlike in Seville, it seemed more restricted to the countryside yet more abundant.

Related Species:
Family: Alaudidae
Genus: Galerida
Subspecies: G. c. cristata, G. c. pallida, G. c. neumanni, G. c. apuliae, G. c. tenuirostris, G. c. meridionalis, G. c. caucasica, G. c. subtaurica, G. c. cypriaca, G. c. zion, G. c. cinnamomina, G. c. magna, G. c. leautungensis, G. c. coreensis, G. c. iwanowi, G. c. lynesi, G. c. kleinschmidti, G. c. riggenbachi, G. c. carthaginis, G. c. randoni, G. c. macrorhyncha, G. c. balsaci, G. c. arenicola, G. c. helenae, G. c. festae, G. c. brachyura, G. c. nigricans, G. c. maculata, G. c. halfae, G. c. senegallensis, G. c. jordansi, G. c. alexanderi, G. c. isabellina, G. c. altirostris, G. c. somaliensis, G. c. tardinata, G. c. chendoola

SPAIN - Spanish -  Cogujada comĂșn ("Common Lark")
Common to locally abundant resident, particularly in Cities.
 - SEVILLE 2011 TRIP: A number seen at Italica, and a pair in the centre of Seville itself.
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Common on farmland around Madrid.
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Common around Madrid and appropriate sites throughout, including many a round Laguna del Longar.               

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red , RSPBWikipedia, Xeno-canto

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