(Brehm, AE, 1857)
The Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae) breeds in Iberia, northern Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Somalia. It is a sedentary species. This is a common bird of dry open country, often at some altitude. The Thekla Lark was named by Alfred Edmund Brehm in 1857 for his recently deceased sister Thekla Brehm (1833-1857). The name is a modern Greek one, Θεκλα (Thekla), which comes from ancient Greek Θεοκλεια (Theokleia) derived from θεος (theos, "God") and κλεος (kleos, "glory" or "honour").
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 edge of that species. It is very similar to the widespread Crested Lark, Galerida cristata. It is smaller and somewhat greyer than that species, and has a shorter bill. In flight it shows grey underwings, whereas Crested has reddish underwings. The body is mainly dark-streaked grey above and whitish below. The sexes are similar.
Behaviour and ecology
It nests on the ground, laying two to six eggs. Its food is weed, seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season. The song is melodious and varied, with mournful whistles and mimicry included. It is softer and more tuneful than that of the Crested Lark.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Galerida theklae". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Thekla. Behind the Name, retrieved 16-01-2013. Brehm later had five children, four of who died of diphtheria in 1883, including a daughter also named Thekla.