Oriental skylark

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Oriental skylark
Oriental Skylark by David Raju (cropped).jpg
In India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Alaudidae
Genus: Alauda
A. gulgula
Binomial name
Alauda gulgula
Franklin, 1831

See text

Alauda gulgula distribution map.png

The Oriental skylark (Alauda gulgula), also known as the small skylark, is a species of skylark found in the southern, central and eastern Palearctic . Like other skylarks, it is found in open grassland where it feeds on seeds and insects.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

The Oriental skylark was described by the English soldier and naturalist James Franklin in 1831 and given the binomial name Alauda gulgula.[2] The meaning of the specific epithet gulgula is uncertain but is perhaps a reference to the song as gula is Latin for "throat" or may be the color of the "gulgula" or a sweet which looks like doughnut made in many parts of Central India. [3]

Other alternate names for the Oriental skylark include eastern skylark, Indian skylark and lesser skylark.[4]


Thirteen subspecies are recognized:[5]

  • Kashmir skylark (A. g. lhamarum) or Kashmir small skylark - Meinertzhagen, R & Meinertzhagen, A, 1926: Found in the Pamir Mountains and western Himalayas
  • A. g. inopinata - Bianchi, 1905: Found on the Tibetan Plateau and north-western China
  • A. g. vernayi - Mayr, 1941: Found in the eastern Himalayas and south-western China
  • Western Oriental skylark (A. g. inconspicua) or Turkestan small skylark - Severtsov, 1873: Originally described as a separate species. Found from southern Kazakhstan to eastern Iran, Pakistan and north-western India
  • A. g. gulgula - Franklin, 1831: Found from north-central India to Sri Lanka and east to northern Indochina
  • A. g. dharmakumarsinhjii - Abdulali, 1976: Found in west-central India
  • A. g. australis - Brooks, WE, 1873: Originally described as a separate species. Found in south-western India
  • A. g. weigoldi - Hartert, 1922: Found in central and eastern China
  • A. g. coelivox - R. Swinhoe, 1859: Originally described as a separate species. Found in southern and south-eastern China, northern Vietnam
  • A. g. sala - R. Swinhoe, 1870: Originally described as a separate species. Found on Hainan Island (off south-eastern China)
  • A. g. herberti - Hartert, 1923: Found from central and eastern Thailand to southern Vietnam
  • A. g. wattersi - R. Swinhoe, 1871: Originally described as a separate species. Found in Taiwan
  • A. g. wolfei - Hachisuka, 1930: Found on Luzon (northern Philippines)


Oriental skylarks are about 16 cm (6.3 in) long. They have streaked, yellow-brown upper plumage, with white outer tail feathers and a short crest. Both sexes are similar.

in Bangladesh

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

These skylarks frequently rocket up into the sky, fluttering and singing before descending down to earth. Male Oriental skylarks may also hover in the air and sing, in order to attract a mate.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Alauda gulgula". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22717424A94531143. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22717424A94531143.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ Franklin, James (1831). "Catalogue of birds (systematically arranged) which were collected on the Ganges between Calcutta and Benares, and in the Vindhyian hills between the latter place and Gurrah Mundela, on the Nerbudda". Proceedings of the Committee of Science and Correspondence of the Zoological Society of London (in English and Latin). Part 1 (10): 114–125 [119].
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. ^ "Alauda gulgula - Avibase". avibase.bsc-eoc.org. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  5. ^ "IOC World Bird List 6.4". IOC World Bird List Datasets. doi:10.14344/ioc.ml.6.4.

External links[edit]