Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra) Calhandra-comum

A resident, thick-set, heavily built Lark that during the winter forms large flocks, this species can be found with some ease on the Plains of the Alentejo. Calandra Larks are normally  seed-eaters, but during the breeding season they also feed on insects of various types. Relatively aggressive to others of the same species it is often seen in mad chases low across the ground darting this way and that.

It has a dark collar, (which sometimes has a frontal gap), a heavy bill, and an obvious white trailing-edge to the wing when in flight. The song is a scratchy melodious background noise to life in its steppe habitat. It prefers short grass and is usually invisible on the ground where it spends most of its time. However it occasionally perches on a low stone when it is easily differentiated from other larks by its thicker bill and black collar.


Birding in Portugal

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