Short-toed Lark, Common Short-toed lark, Lesser Sand Lark
Russian: Серый жаворонок
Орог жиргэмэл, Орог бор бялзуумар
Body length: 13-14 ½ cm.
Breeds on dry plains (clay), by salt pans and on desert-like steppe. Mainly
resident, but eastern populations migrate to Middle East.
Small, usually fractionally smaller than Short-toed Lark (but some eastern
races equal in size), greyer and more evenly streaked. Best separated by:
streaked breast (incl. centre of breast, recalling dwarf Skylark); shorter
tertials (ending 10-15 min short of wing-tip); shorter, more bulbous bill; and
voice. Often ‘cute-looking’ from rounded head shape, small bill and wide pale
eye-ring. Supercilium is usually less obvious. Chee finely streaked.
Song-flight often drifting around with fluttering wingbeats and partly spread
tail, in suitable winds now and then shifting to clearly slower wingbeats
(never seen from Short-toed). Marked geographical variation: Birds of Spain
small and rather grey-brown, breast heavily streaked, flanks streaked, too.
Birds in S Middle East and N Africa (minor) and in the Canaries small but brown,
less greyish, streaking of breast fine, flanks unstreaked. Birds of E Europe
(heinei) and Turkey (aharonii) large and greyish, breast finely or diffusely
streaked, flanks faintly streaked.