Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark  near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
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Scientific Name : Eremopterix griseus
Kingdom             : Animalia
Phylum                : Chordata
Class                     : Aves
Order                    : Passeriformes
Family                  : Alaudidae
Genus                   : Eremopterix
Species                 : E. griseus

How to identify this bird:

See the Photo-gallery above and observe the following :

  • The Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark is a small, squat bird around 12 cms long i.e., about the size of a house-sparrow.
  • It is also known as the ashy-crowned finch-lark or black-bellied finch-lark.
  • It is a thick-billed crestless lark.
  • Male is sandy brown above with  grey crown and nape and whitish cheeks. It has brownish-black underparts .
  • Female has stout greyish bill and has uniform head and upper parts and dark grey underwing-coverts (looks more like the female House Sparrow).
Where do I find this bird: 
  • It is usually seen sitting on the ground (on grass or mud) along the roads near DPS Tapi.
  • They will sometimes perch on wires they do not perch in trees or bushes. They are generally found in open, dry srub and dry cultivation.
  • Males are easily detected during the breeding season. The male soars high with some chirruping calls (rather a long descending whistle) and then dives with partly closed wings and then rising up in a glide. The display ends with the male descending at an angle and landing on a small mound or clod before repeating the performance after a few minutes
  • They forage on the ground for seeds and insects. They will also feed  on fallen grain in fields
  • When disturbed they will sometimes crouch and take to flight. .
  • They roost at night on the ground, making small depressions in the soil.
  • The nest of the Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark is a compact depression under a tuft of grass in the ground lined with grass and hair with some pebbles.
  • They lay about two or three eggs and both males and female incubate the eggs.
  • The eggs hatch after about 13 or 14 days and both parents take turns to feed the young although the female is more active.
Local Names :

Hindi           : Duri, Fothauli, Dabhak churi, Diyora, Deoli
Gujarati      : Bhon chakli 
Bengali        : Dhula chata, Math charai
Telugu         : Poti pichika, Piyada pichika
Malayalam : Karimpandi 
Tamil           : Vanampadi kuruvi, Munan vanambadi