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Books about Larks

The books are listed in order of publication date with the most recent at the top.


Family: Alaudidae

In the UK

Alauda arvensis

Wood Lark
Lullula arborea

Shore Lark (Horned Lark)
Eremophila alpestris

Rare visitors to UK

Calandra Lark
Melanocorypha calandra

Bimaculated Lark
Melanocorypha bimaculata

White-winged Lark
Melanocorypha leucoptera

Black Lark
Melanocorypha yeltoniensis

Short-toed Lark
Calandrella brachydactyla

Lesser Short-toed Lark
Calandrella rufescens

Crested Lark
Galerida cristata


There over 90 species of larks worldwide.



Jim Crumley

Cover illustration: Carry Akroyd

Encounters In The Wild



"In the Encounters in the Wild series, renowned nature writer Jim Crumley gets up close and personal with British wildlife: here, the skylark. With his inimitable passion and vision, he relives memorable encounters with some of our best-loved native species, offering intimate insights into their extraordinary lives.

'Watch this bird poised on a tussock, awaiting the signal from the wind, a thumbs up, an urging gust. Lift-off is gently inclined and silent. The transformations from gentle incline to vertical columnar flight, and from silence to song, coincide within a few airborne seconds, a few feet of ascent. The song is full-throated from the first note, as self-confident as the opening bars of Beethoven’s Fifth or Armstrong’s West End Blues. There is no preamble, no subtle dropped hint of the glories to come. The glories start with the downbeat.'
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Larks and Leverets: Wildlife on Norfolk Farmland

James McCallum

Silver Brant


"Larks and Leverets deals with the wildlife commonly found on Norfolk's farmland. There are chapters on hares, long-tailed tits, skylarks, displaying pheasants and winter flocks of pink-footed geese. There are also features on other typical farmland species such as grey and red-legged partridges, turtle doves, rabbits, pigeons and doves, lapwings, butterflies and stoats. Larks and Leverets contains over a hundred paintings, numerous watercolour studies and written observations. The notes on behaviour have been made from direct field experience and the paintings have been completed, almost exclusively, outdoors at the time of watching. The foreword is by John Busby. Larks and Leverets is full colour throughout, 140 pages long with printed end papers and limited to 1500 copies. The first 50 copies are a special edition with an original hand-coloured and hand-printed etching on the cover and spine. The following 1450 are hardback with dust jacket."

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The Skylark

Paul Donald

Line drawings and colour plates: Alan Harris



"This book looks at all aspects of the life of the Skylark, from its biology, migratory patterns, breeding behaviour and habitat requirements, to its role in legend and folklore. It also discusses its recent rapid decline which has led to the species being placed on the top-priority 'red list' of Birds of Conservation Concern by the leading governmental and non-governmental conservation organisations in the UK. Three closely related species, Oriental and Japanese Skylarks and the enigmatic Raso Lark are also discussed."

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Birds, Scythes and Combines: A History of Birds and Agricultural Change

Michael Shrubb

Cambridge University Press


Birds, Scythes and Combines provides an historical perspective to changes in farmland bird populations in Britain over the past 250 years. Includes introductory chapters on agricultural history and farmland birds. Subsequent chapters deal with arable farming systems, enclosure, hedges, drainage, weeding and pesticides, grassland and stock, Winter food resources and labour, machines and buildings.

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The ecology and conservation of skylarks

Editors: P. Donald and J. Vickery



Proceedings of a 1999 conference organised by the RSPB and BTO.

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An Exaltation of Skylarks

Stewart Beer

Foreword: Richard Mabey

SMH Books


2nd edition: 2004

A 2300-year Anthology to the Skylark in prose and poetry.

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The Effect Of Organic Farming Regimes On Breeding And Winter Bird Populations

Research report 154

British Trust for Ornithology


220 page report.

Part 1. Summary Report And Conclusions - Fuller, R.J.

Part II. A Comparison Of Breeding And Winter Bird Populations On Organic And Conventional Farmland - Chamberlain, D.E., Wilson, J.D. & Fuller, R.J.

Part III. Habitat Selection And Breeding Success Of Skylarks - Evans, J., Wilson, J. & Browne, S.

Part IV. Invertebrate And Weed Seed Food-Sources For Birds In Organic And Conventional Farming Systems - Brooks, D., Bater, J., Jones, H. & Shah, P.A

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Habitat Selection And Breeding Success On Skylarks Alauda Arvensis On Organic And Conventional Farmland

Wilson, J.D. & Browne, S.J.

Research report 129

British Trust for Ornithology


"The habitat selection, territory density, nesting success and diet of Skylarks breeding on one organic and one conventional farm in north Suffolk were investigated as a pilot study to examine the impact of organic farming practices on Skylark breeding populations."

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British Larks, Pipits and Wagtails

Eric Simms


New Naturalist Series (78)


"The aim of this book is to review the British larks, pipits and wagtails. There are three broad introductory chapters on their emergence and range and on the chief characteristics of the genera. Single chapters are devoted to eleven separate species, while two cover the rarer migrants or vagrants on the British list. The last two chapters deal with the movements of the major species and the author's personal view of the current future status of these birds in Britain. This book is in the classic mould of New Naturalist volumes, giving a comprehensive description of the biology of an important part of Britain's birdlife."

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The Prairie Horned Lark

Gayle B Pickwell

Transactions Of The Academy Of Science Of St. Louis. Volume 27


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The Horned Larks And Their Relation To Agriculture

W.L. McAtee

B/W frontispiece and line drawings in text

Division Of Biological Survey Bulletin No. 23

US Department of Agriculture

Government Printing Office


From the introduction:

The horned larks are small but hardy birds which frequent the open country and never live in forests. They are found in a great variety of situations, and feed along roads, in weedy or freshly plowed fields, on commons or other waste places, and in closely grazed pastures, meadows, and stubble fields. The beaches and salt marshes of the coasts, the lake shores, muddy flats, and swamps of the interior are thronged with them in fall and winter. In the far West they live in hot desert valleys, on arid table-lands, on level grassy prairies, in the foothills, and even on bare mountain peaks. They are readily distinguished from other small ground-loving birds. They are about the size of the bluebird, their throats are white or yellow, there is a conspicuous black mark across the breast, and just above and behind the eyes are small pointed tufts of dark-colored feathers which are often erected. These black tufts or horns are perhaps the bird's most characteristic feature, and give origin to the common name 'horned lark,' by which it is known over most of the United States.
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Florence Anna Fulcher

Editor: H. E. Dresser

Educational Series No. 22

Society for the Protection of Birds


A 4 page guide that provides a brief description and information on distribution, numbers, food, characteristics, protection, plus two pages of general remarks.

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Catalogue Of The Passeriformes or Perching Birds In The Collection Of The British Museum

Sturniformes, containing the families Artamidae, Sturnidae, Ploceidae, Alaudidae also the families Atrichiidae and Menuridae

Catalogue Of The Birds In The British Museum, Volume XIII

R. Bowdler Sharp

15 colour plates: J. Smit, Peter Smit

Printed By Order Of The Trustees

Sold by: Longman & Co.; B. Quaritch; Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; and at the British Museum (Natural History)


From the introduction:

"With the present volume the description of the Acromyodian Passeres is completed. It will be seen that, owing to the large accessions to the collection, the series examined exceeds that of any of the preceding volumes. Out of the 601 species and subspecies here recognized, only 58 are unrepresented in the collection, or about 10 per cent. Of these at least 25 are of very doubtful value, so that the collection actually contains nearly 95 per cent, of the known species. The British Museum possesses the types of 152 species, besides those of 61 no longer considered to be of that rank. The number of specimens reaches the total of 11,699. By the acquisition of part of the Shelley Collection of African birds by the Trustees of the Museum, my labours on the Ploceidae have been much facilitated, as I have had before me the whole of Capt. Shelley's series of specimens, on which was based his monographic essay on the African Weaver-Birds. Mr. Seebohm has likewise presented his entire collection of Palaearctic Alaudidae, and the Sturnidae and Ploceidae of the Swinhoe collection, comprising many types of species."
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Last updated September 2013