This is a common bird of open country, cultivation and scrub, often at some altitude. It nests on the ground, laying two or three eggs. Its food is seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.
This is a smallish lark, slightly smaller than the skylark. It has a long spiky erectile crest. It is greyer than the skylark, and lacks the white wing and tail edges of that species, which is a winter visitor to India.
It is very similar to the crested lark, Galerida cristata, which breeds in northern India. It is smaller and dark-streaked reddish brown in plumage, whereas the crested lark is grey. The belly is white. The sexes are similar.
The Sykes's lark, or tawny lark, Galerida deva, is another Indian relative. That species also has reddish-brown plumage, but is smaller, shorter-billed, with a stiff upright crest and has plain rufous underparts.