Species group: Exotic Songbirds
Other common names: Skylark
Scientific name: Alauda arvensis
At first glance, the Eurasian Skylark looks like just another unremarkable small speckled brown bird, but it has been famous throughout human history for the beautiful display flight of the singing male. Although they are probably not for beginners since they demand an insect-rich softbill diet, Skylarks are temperate rather than tropical and can tolerate cooler temperatures than many other popular pet birds.
The Eurasian Skylark is an extremely widespread and successful Old World songbird found over a large area of Europe, Asia, and northern Africa. Its habitat includes scrubby, swampy, or grassy territories where it feeds and nests on the ground. Despite its overall abundance worldwide, this species quite suddenly collapsed to a fraction of its former population size in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, possibly due to changing farming practices.
A rather unimpressive light brown bird with a small crest.
35 - 42 grams (1.2 - 1.5 oz.)
18 centimeters (7 in.)
Behavior / temperament:
Skylarks can become reliable breeders producing multiple nests once they are properly paired. The young birds are well camouflaged, and you should always step carefully when walking inside their aviary.
Because of the display flight which is the whole point of keeping the Skylark, you will need to provide a generous aviary that allows the birds to fly up and down as they perform their song. In other words, the flight should allow for Skylarks to spring up vertically as well as to fly back and forth horizontally.
Skylarks can eat some soft sprouting seed but they should be considered as largely insectivorous rather than seed-eaters. They will need a high-quality small softbill crumble, supplemented by tiny mealworms or other grubs, especially during the breeding season. Always check with your breeder for the latest nutritional advice, but you should almost certainly sprinkle on a good multi-vitamin and a calcium supplement as well. In the wild they forage for food on the ground, and most if not all breeders place the food and water dishes low.
Written by Elaine Radford
A Necessity Item for Any Bird
Cuttlebones help keep your bird's beak in shape. Most also love chewing on the bones because they provide a natural foraging activity. Cuttlebones are also an ideal way to supplement your bird's diet with crucial minerals such as calcium to encourage healthy bones, nails, feathers, and beak. The cuttlebone usually comes with a small attachment so you can quickly snap it to the bars of the bird's cage. Your bird will chip away at it on a daily basis. Once the cuttlebone is gone, your bird will probably anxiously be waiting for the next one. .
From KimberlySharpe 52 days ago