|A pair of Galerida malabarica from Mangaon, Maharashtra, India|
Taxonomy and systematics
Originally, the Malabar lark was classified in the genus Alauda before being moved to its present genus. Also, some authorities have considered the Thekla lark to be a subspecies of the Malabar lark.
This is a smallish lark, slightly smaller than the Eurasian 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, which breeds in northern India. The Malabar lark is smaller and dark-streaked reddish brown in plumage, whereas the crested lark is grey. The belly is white. The sexes are similar.
Sykes's lark is another Indian relative that also has reddish-brown plumage, but is smaller, shorter-billed, with a stiff upright crest and has plain rufous underparts.
Distribution and habitat
The Malabar lark is found in western India. It is a common bird of open country, cultivation and scrub, often at some altitude.
Behaviour and ecology
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