Alauda is a genus of larks with four species found across much of Europe, Asia and in the mountains of north Africa, and one species (the Raso Lark) endemic to the islet of Raso in the Cape Verde Islands.
These birds are 14–18 cm long and live in cultivation, heath, natural steppe and other open habitats. Their characteristic songs are delivered in flight. They are fairly undistinguished: streaked brown above and pale below, with a short, blunt, erectile crest. In flight, they display a short tail and short broad wings. The tail and the rear edge of the wings are edged with white.
Their diet consists of seeds, supplemented with insects in the breeding season. They nest on the ground in tufts of grass, with 3-6 eggs per clutch. They form flocks when not breeding.
Species in taxonomic order
- Eurasian Skylark, Alauda arvensis
- Japanese Skylark, Alauda a. japonica
- Oriental Skylark, Alauda gulgula
- Raso Lark, Alauda razae
Alauda xerarvensis (late Pliocene of Varshets, Bulgaria)
Alauda tivadari |late Miocene of Polgardi, Hungary)
- Mullarney, Svensson, Zetterstrom and Grant, Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0-00-219728-6