Skylarks were introduced from Britain in the 1850s, and have established themselves in the pasturelands of southern Victoria. Similar in appearance to the Australasian Pipit, they are distinguished by their tiny crests, and their beautiful, clear twittering song, delivered as they fly up and then hover 50m or higher. Female birds prefer males that can hover longer. They twitter with a ventriloquial effect, seeming to be on or near the ground.
Like Pipits and Songlarks, Skylarks nest on the ground, sheltered by grass. Females lay 2 to 4 glossy greyish-white eggs with brownish/purple spots mainly at the large end. They feed on seeds, with some insects in the breeding season. Over-grazing, drought and conversion of pasture to cropping are threats to their survival.
Size: 17 - 19 cm
Photo and Illustration: Mark Trinham.