Lark haussecol

Description of the family
Alaudidae are small to medium-sized passerines (10 to 23 cm in length, about the size of a pouillot to that of the blackbird), quite compact. They occupy all open or semi-open environments on all continents except South America. They need access ... read more

Description identification
Slightly smaller than the Skylark , the species is recognizable by the yellow and black patterns on its face. Two small feathers protruding from the sides of the cap form fine horns, not always evident on the ground. The sexes and the ages are fairly close and it is only when the couples are formed on the nesting sites that one can really discriminate. The male is larger, more marked on the face, with longer horns, a cap and a pinkish brown neck almost without streaks. The coat is less streaked, the small pinkish brown wing coverts do not bear marks. The two partners have a white underside surmounted by a large black cupboard which covers the upper part of the chest. The tail, beak and legs are black. In groups, the juveniles can be spotted above and on their chest, strongly punctuated with dark and pale, as well as on their barely visible cheek patch.

There are several geographical variants: the birds of northern Europe ( subspecies flava) have the black of the head separated from that of the chest. In those of south-eastern Europe (balcanica subspecies ), northern Turkey and the Caucasus (penicillata subspecies ), the black of the head and that of the chest form a single block. In the Middle East (bicornis subspecies ), the top is warmer reddish-brown.