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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki, M. & W. von Wright: Svenska fåglar (Kansalliskirjasto, The National Library of Finland). Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Woodlark

Lullula arborea

Name also: Wood Lark

  • Family: Larks – Alaudidae
  • Appearance: A small, round-winged, short-tailed lark. Alternating paler and darker markings are prominent on their wing coverts. Patterned plumage also distinguishable on their heads, including eye-stripes extending to the back of the neck. Beak slender.
  • Size: Length 135–15 cm, weight 23–35 g.
  • Nest: On the ground protected by sparse vegetation, made of root fibres, moss and dry grass, and lined with hairs and small feathers.
  • Breeding: Lays 3–5 eggs April–May. Only females incubate, for 11–16 days, after which fledglings remain in the nest for 9–15 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds in dry clearings in pine forests in Southern Finland. Rare in regions further north. Finnish breeding population estimated at 4,000–7,000 pairs.
  • Migration: Diurnal migrant, leaves Finland September–November, returning March–May. Winters in western regions of Central Europe, also occasionally in Finland.
  • Calls: A soft, melodious “deedlooee”. Song long and melodic, often performed in flight.
  • Diet: Seeds, invertebrates.
  • Endangerment: Near threatened, protected throughout the country, including the Åland Islands. Globally Least concern.

Woodlarks are Finland’s smallest larks. They have short, dark tails with paler whitish edges and tips. The markings on their heads are prominent, including pale eye-stripes that meet behind the neck. They have streaked caps and slender beaks. Alternating paler and darker markings on their wing coverts are also visible on birds in flight. Their backs and breasts are marked with streaks and spots. Woodlarks have yellowish legs, brown irises, and their beaks have dark brown upper mandibles and paler lower mandibles.

Other species from the same family

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