Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae)

Thekla Lark

[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Alaudidae | [latin] Galerida theklae | [UK] Thekla Lark | [FR] | [DE] Haubenlerche | [ES] | [NL]


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Galerida theklae AF n, e, also Spain and Portugal
Galerida theklae carolinae
Galerida theklae ellioti
Galerida theklae erlangeri
Galerida theklae harrarensis
Galerida theklae huei
Galerida theklae huriensis
Galerida theklae mallablensis
Galerida theklae praetermissa
Galerida theklae ruficolor
Galerida theklae superflua
Galerida theklae theklae
Galerida theklae theresae

Physical charateristics

17 cm in size with a wingspan of 30-38 cm. Medium sized lark, with long spiky crest on rear crown, portly character on ground stemming most from usually deep belly and rather short tail. Distinctly bulkier about head and body, with rather long, strong bill and rather short, broad tail. Plumage pattern and colors, stronger facial marks, heavy moustaches, more open chest streaks on paler ground, more uniform upperparts and buff outer tail feathers.

Listen to the sound of Thekla Lark

[audio: Lark.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 32 cm wingspan max.: 36 cm
size min.: 17 cm size max.: 19 cm
incubation min.: 11 days incubation max.: 13 days
fledging min.: 9 days fledging max.: 13 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Africa : North, East, also Spain and Portugal


Variety of habitats, mainly open areas with sparse vegetation, also cultivated land and other man-made semideserts such as railways, airfields, and wastelands. Where it co-occurs with the Thekla lark, the crested lark occupies the plains, the Thekla inhabits rocky and bushy slopes.


Monogamous. Breeds April-June in Europe; female builds cup-shaped nest alone, lays three to five, rarely seven, eggs. Incubation by female alone, 11-17 days. Both parents feed young, which leave nest after eight to 11 days before being able to fly.

Feeding habits

Diet of the Thekla Lark consists mainly of vegetal food; seeds and green plant material taken from ground or picked directly from plants. Also food remains in horse-droppings are exploited. Animal (mainly insects) food taken to larger extent during breeding season, but proportion is negligible during rest of the year. Young fed with insects and worms.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Thekla Lark status Least Concern


Largely migratory in north of FSU breeding range. Mainly resident elsewhere; some dispersal occurs, but scale uncertain. Apparently sedentary in North Africa and Middle East, where birds show much subspeciation and adaptation of plumage colour to that of local soils.

Distribution map

Thekla Lark distribution range map

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