Woodlark (Lullula arborea)

Content Image

The Woodlark or Wood Lark (Lullula arborea) is the only species in the lark genus Lullula. It breeds across most of Europe, the Middle East Asia and the mountains of north Africa. It is mainly resident in the west of its range, but eastern populations of this passerine bird are more migratory, moving further south in winter.

This is a 13.5–15 cm long bird, slightly smaller than the Skylark being roughly 20% shorter. The Woodlark is mainly brown above and pale below, but with distinctive white superciliar meeting on the nape. It has a crest which is quite small and at most times inconspicuous. In flight it shows a short tail and short broad wings. The tail is tipped with white, but unlike the Skylark, the tail sides and the rear edge of the wings are not edged with white.

The Woodlark’s natural habitat is heathland and open spaces sparsely populated with trees.They prefer clearings in pine forests and heathland and like newly planted areas with pine saplings.

A songbird, the Woodlark has a melodious, warbling song often described onomatopoeically as a ‘lu-lu-lu-‘ or, more precisely, as a “serial ‘lū-lū-lū-lū-lū-‘, ‘toolooeet toolooeet toolooeet'”. The French name, Alouette lulu, and the scientific name, Lullula arborea, are derived from the sound of its song. The male Woodlark has a song flight similar to that of the Eurasian Skylark but flutters more as he rises and spirals upwards, circling the ground as he sings at a fairly constant height. Both male and female birds will also sing from the ground or a perch. Birds start singing early in the season, usually around February in Britain.

Teevo cheevo cheevio chee:
O where, what can tháat be?
Weedio-weedio: there again!
So tiny a trickle of sóng-strain;
And all round not to be found
For brier, bough, furrow, or gréen ground
Before or behind or far or at hand
Either left either right
Anywhere in the súnlight.
Well, after all! Ah but hark—
‘I am the little wóodlark.

“The Woodlark” by Gerard Manley Hopkins

photo: Mihai BACIU


Previous Post
Little Gull (Larus...


Next Post
Cattle Egret...

WhatsApp Logo