65. Short-toed Lark


Happy as a lark, they say. And indeed, watching a Short-toed Lark flutter up in the sky singing its bubbly song, you would believe: this is one happy bird. But the lark's aerial antics have actually little to do with emotion and everything to do with survival: all that talent-show is the lark's way of showing other larks off his territory. Holding a territory is important for an animal especially in the breeding season. And as the Short-toed Lark is one of our breeding birds, that drab-looking, fast-drying patch of countryside is vital for the nourishment of himself, his mate and his growing family. Short-toed Larks (M: Bilbla) breed in open countryside and nest on the ground. Unfortunately, Malta's breeding Short-toed Larks have declined in recent years... so much for happiness!   

Text by Victor Falzon, photo by Denis Cachia.

Copyright to Birdlife Malta.
 

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