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Shore Lark Bird

Identification of Shore Lark Bird

Shore Lark Bird 1 Length: 14-17cm Wingspan: 30-35cm Call: "thissip"

Shore Lark Bird is an attractive lark, unique in our region in having a yellow face, throat and eyebrows, with a bold black 'comma' on the fore part of the cheek and extending through the eye, lores and over the bill. Shore Lark Bird has a black bar across the crown, with elongated feathers at the sides forming narrow black horns, prominent when held erect but often hard to see. They are most obvious on a male in spring plumage; immature birds lack these horns and they are more reduced in the female. The underparts are white with a pinky-brown wash on the flanks, the upperparts are pinky-brown lightly streaked with brown. When seen from below, the tail feathers are black. The race found in our region is flava, and many other races occur around the Holarctic.

Habitat of Shore Lark Bird

Unlike other lark species, Shore Lark Bird breeds at high altitude or high latitude, above the tree line on barren dry mountain tops, high fells, alpine moors and on dry tundra down to sea level in the Arctic zone. In winter, when it is most likely to be seen along the east coasts of Britain, it favours sandy beaches with emergent vegetation, dunes, saltmarshes, stubble fields and coastal meadows with a short sward.

Song / Call of Shore Lark Bird

Shore Lark Bird 2

Shore Lark Bird has a rather mournful little song, delivered in short phrases with a bright tinkling quality reminiscent of the songs of both Snow and Lapland Buntings. The song phrase starts a little hesitantly and discordantly, accelerating and rising towards the end before finishing with a short jangle. It lasts on average about 1.5 seconds and comprises 9-10 notes or groups of notes, such as "tu dit ee'tee'hlee'dli'dleedl'tee'eh". It is not noticeably loud or far-carrying, and is delivered either from the ground or in a high song flight. The call notes are rather soft and thin, variants including "thissip", "tseep", "tsee-sirrp", "hee-du" and "hee-eedu".