Sunday, 12 April 2015

Day 160 - Skillfully Skittish Skylarks

Hi all today's Day 160 and as I have done sea birds for the last few days, I thought I would mix things up a bit with a different bird. I, personally, don't get them in my garden but I see them in the countryside around where I live. My past few posts have been about birds I saw at Bempton Cliffs which also happens to be where I saw Skylarks last. They are beautiful to watch and, some of the time, sat still so we could take pictures of it, or so I thought until I got to editing the photo's! After looking a bit closer it seems the bird that sat still wasn't one the Skylarks I'd been watching and listening too - turns out it is a Meadow Pippet!

Skylark (Alauda arvensis)

Thanks to David Darrell Lambert 
Well, that's not so bad as I haven't seen one before but I'd already done my research and post on Skylarks! So today you for a while had skylark facts with a suspect photo! Very grateful to @birdbrainuk for this lovely shot here.

So, let's get on with the Skylark facts:

  • This has probably the most shocking status that I have seen as it is a Red Status bird but even
    more shockingly, it has around 1.5 MILLION BREEDING TERRITORIES.
  • This is because it has had recent breeding population decline because one of their main habitats (arable farmland) is being destroyed. They have declines over 50% in the last 25 years.
  • They are resident all over Ireland as well as most of the rest of the UK. They only spend their summer in Central Wales, North-Central England, South-Central Scotland and Northern Scotland.
My picture which turned out to be a Meadow Pippet -
More on this another day
  • Skylarks have inspired many poets. Some of which are Chaucer, Blake and, with probably the most apt poem, Wordsworth with To a Skylark. It goes as follows:
  • Up with me! up with me into the clouds! For thy song, Lark, is strong;Up with me, up with me into the clouds! Singing, singing,With clouds and sky about thee ringing, Lift me, guide me till I find that spot which seems so to thy mind!
  • Thanks to Roy Noon for this link to a Skylark inspired piece of music - The Lark Ascending
  • They are small birds, just 18cm in length and they only have a 33cm wingspan! They're not as light as some other birds, though, Males weighing 42g and Females are 35g.
  • They have a very memorable aerial, territorial flight that can last up to 5 minutes. It flies straight up into the air to the pinnacle of it's ascent before flying down slowly, all the while singing its unique song.
  • It can be found in all of the habitats, mostly in Moorland, Arable Farmland and Bogs. They are found the least in towns.
  • They have a typical lifespan of just 2 years and the oldest Skylark ever was 9 years and 10 days. This small life is probably because their adult survival rating is but 50%.
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Rarely seen but often heard as I walk along the coastal path near Crosby, between the dunes and the golf course. A beautiful song. I had no idea they had such a short life span. I am reminded of the quote by Maya Angelou - "A bird does not sing because it has an answer. A bird sings because it has a song."

    1. That's a really nice quote Roy, thanks :-)

  2. I love Skylarks - loved reading more about them. Lovely post! - Tasha

  3. Skylarks used to be a feature of my local park when I was a child. Long since gone. I must confirm whether the birds I'm now seeing on my so called "Owl Road" are larks or pipits.