Skylark

Irish Name: Fuiseog
Scientific name: Alauda arvensis
Bird Family: Skylarks
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Conservation status

Status

Common resident throughout Ireland in uplands and areas of farmland, especially cereal.

Identification

A rather non-descript species, with much brown and black streaking. Adult Skylarks have a prominent white supercilium and frequently raise their crown feathers to form a little crest. Juveniles have much of the black streaking replaced by spotting and lack the crest. When flushed from the ground, keeps close to the ground unlike the similar Meadow Pipit which typically rises straight up.

Voice

Rather vocal. Commonest call is a “chirrup” or “trrrp” given in flight. The song, which can be heard from February/March to June, is a distinctive continuous stream of warbling notes. It can last up to half an hour and is usually given while the bird is flying 50 to 100 metres overhead.

Diet

Skylarks feed on a variety of insects, seeds and plant leaves.

Breeding

Breeds in a variety of habitats including cultivated areas, ungrazed grasslands and upland heaths.

Wintering

Usually moves out of breeding areas to winter in flocks on stubble fields, grasslands and coastal areas. Birds from continental Europe arrive in variable numbers from September and depart March/April.

Monitored by

Countryside Bird Survey.

Similar Species

Meadow Pipit

Irish Name:
Riabhóg Mhóna
Scientific name:
Anthus pratensis
Bird Family:
Pipits