The white-winged lark (Melanocorypha leucoptera) is a species of lark found in central Asia, from the Caucasus east across temperate southern Asia and Kazakhstan. It is partially migratory, with birds tending to move south in winter. The southernmost birds are mainly resident. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.
This lark is large and robust, usually 17–19 cm in length, with a wingspan of 35 cm. Both sexes weigh about 44 g. In flight, it is unmistakable due to its striking wing pattern: black outer flight feathers, white inner flight feathers, and the rest of the wing chestnut. Its body is dark-streaked grey above and whitish below. The adult male has a chestnut crown, but the sexes are otherwise similar.
The white-winged lark lives in dry, open steppe and plains. It nests on the ground, laying three to eight eggs per clutch. Its diet consists of seeds, and insects during the breeding season. It is gregarious during the winter.
Its song is a more melodious version of the skylark's.
Habitat destruction due to ploughing is one of the main threats to the white-winged lark. Although its population has declined significantly, it is still relatively common, and is not considered to be at risk.
- BirdFacts - British Trust for Ornithology