Calandra Lark

Calandra Lark, Kalanderleeuwerik, Kalanderlerche, Calhandra-comum, Calandria Común

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                                     Calandra Lark sound    

The Calandra Lark (Melanocorypha calandra) breeds in warm temperate countries around the Mediterranean and eastwards through Turkey into northern Iran and southern Russia. It is replaced further east by its relative, the Bimaculated Lark.

Calandra Lark Birding Portugal
Calandra Lark

More photos at the bottom of this page:

It is mainly resident in the west of its range, but Russian populations of this passerine bird are more migratory, moving further south in winter, as far as the Arabian peninsula and Egypt. It is a very rare vagrant to western Europe.

This is a bird of open cultivation and steppe. Its nest is on the ground, with 4–5 eggs being laid. Food is seeds supplemented with insects in the breeding season. It is gregarious outside the breeding season.

This is a large, robust lark, 17.5–20 cm long. It is an undistinguished-looking species on the ground, mainly streaked greyish-brown above and white below, and with large black patches on the breast sides. It has a white supercilium.

In flight it shows short broad wings, which are dark below, and a short white-edged tail. The wing and tail patterns are distinctions from its more easterly relatives.

The song is like a slower version of that of the Skylark, so musical to human ears that the Calandra Lark was formerly a popular cagebird in its range (Kikkawa 2003). It is mentioned in, for instance, the Tuscan proverb “Canta come una calandra”, he or she sings like a lark (Giusti 1853), and the Spanish ballad “Romance del prisionero”, where its song is the only way the prisoner knows when day breaks (Applebaum 2004).

Calandra Lark Birding Portugal
Calandra Lark
Calandra Lark Birding Portugal
Calandra Lark
Calandra Lark Birding Portugal
Calandra Lark
Calandra Lark Birding Portugal
Calandra Lark

Other synonyms:

Catalan: Calàndria
Catalan (Balears): Calàndria
Czech: Kalandra zpevná, Kalandra zp?vná, kalandra zpìvná
Welsh: Ehedydd calandra
Danish: Kalanderlærke
German: Kalanderlerche
English: Calandra Lark, European Calandra-Lark
Esperanto: stepalaûdo
Spanish: Calandria, Calandria Común, Calandría Común
Estonian: stepilõoke
Basque: Calàndria, Kalandria
Finnish: Arokiuru
Faroese: Ærgilerkur, ærgislerkur
French: Alouette calandre
Galician: Calandra real, Calàndria
Croatian: Velika Ševa
Hungarian: Kalandrapacsirta
Icelandic: Sunnulævirki
Italian: Calandra, Calandra comune
Japanese: kuroerikoutenshi, Kuroeri-koutenshi, kurokoutenshi
Latin: Melanocorypha calandra
Lithuanian: Stepinis vieversys
Maltese: Kalandra
Dutch: Kalander leeuwerik, Kalanderleeuwerik
Norwegian: Kalanderlerke
Polish: Dzieciol trójpalczasty, Kalandra suliszka, kalandra szara, Skowronek kalandra
Portuguese: calhandra comum, Calhandra real, Calhandra-comum, Cochicho
Romansh: Lodola calandra
Russian: Stepnoy Zhavoronok
Slovak: Kalandra, škovran stepný
Slovenian: laški škrjanec
Albanian: Drenja e madhe qafëzezë, Hundëgjatë i grurit
Serbian: velika ševa
Swedish: Kalanderlärka
Swahili: Udogo kipozamataza


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders to see birds on your trip. Guided Birdwatching Tours & Trips

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