Lesser Short-toed Lark

Lesser Short-toed Lark


Profile Lesser Short-Toed Lark     Literature page

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Alaudidae | [latin] Calandrella rufescens | [UK] Lesser Short-Toed Lark | [FR] Alouette pispolette | [DE] Stummellerche | [ES] Terrera marismena | [IT] Calandrina | [NL] Kleine Kortteenleeuwerik

Kleine Kortteenleeuwerik determination

copyright: M.A. Bielsa

Small lark with very similar character to Short-toed Lark but differing from adult of that species in more heavily streaked and browner upperparts and chest. Lacks discrete dark marks at shoulder; pale supercilia fully join over bill, forming pale forehead.

This Lark breeds in middle latitudes, continental steppe, Mediterranean area and semi-desert zones, overlapping widely with Short-toed Lark. The Lesser short-toed Lark prefers sandy or silty ground with low to medium shrub cover. The short-toed Lark and Lesser short-toed Lark hardly compete nesting or feeding areas. The latter seems to prefer barer, poorer, drier, more saline, or more clayey or gravelly sites than Short-toed Lark.

Calandrella rufescens breeds in Iberia and the Canary Islands as well as parts of
south-east of Europe, which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range.
Its European breeding population is very large (>1,600,000 pairs), but underwent a
large decline between 1970-1990. Although the comparatively small populations in
Portugal and the Caucasus were stable during 1990-2000, the species continued to
decline across most of its European range, and underwent a moderate decline (>10%)

Largely insects in summer, more seeds in spring and autumn, and presumably largely seeds in winter.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². It has a large global population, including an estimated 3,100,000-8,000,000 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Nest is build on ground in shelter of tussock. Nest consists of shallow scrape, lined with vegetation. breeding starts fromMmarch to early June. 2 to 3 eggs are laid. only the females incubate and they are not fed by the males. The chicks are cared for and fed by both parents, and fledgling care appears to be undertaken by the males while the females lay further clutches. The chicks remain in the nest for about 8 days. Larks normally have a long period of post-fledging care (about 1 month in most of the species).

Resident to dispersive (nomadic) in western parts of range, dispersive to migratory in centre and east. Mainly migratory over much of USSR breeding range; winters only in small numbers in Eruslan steppes, and around Chkalov winters only in milder years, but resident and nomadic in Soviet Central Asia.
Resident and winter visitor in Saudi Arabia, though evidently nomadic in arid centre where it breeds only in years when conditions suitable; more numerous and widespread outside breeding season, especially in passage periods, September-November and February-March


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 24 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 32 cm
  4. size min.: 13 cm
  5. size max.: 14 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 13 days
  8. incubation max.: 14 days
  9. fledging min.: 9 days
  10. fledging max.: 10 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 3
  13. eggs max.: 5
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Kleine Kortteenleeuwerik status Least Concern


  1. Calandrella rufescens heinei
  2. Calandrella rufescens pseudobaetica
  3. Calandrella rufescens nicolli
  4. Calandrella rufescens minor
  5. Calandrella rufescens apetzii
  6. Calandrella rufescens polatzeki
  7. Calandrella rufescens rufescens
  8. Calandrella rufescens
  9. EU s, also n Africa
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