Australasian lark

Mirafra javanica

TAXONOMY

Mirafra javanica Horsfield, 1821, Java. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Singing bushlark; French: Alouette de Java; German: Horsfieldlerche; Spanish: Alondra de Australiana.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.7-5.9 in (12-15 cm); 0.7 oz (20 g). Plumage inconspicuous other than rufous wing patch, sexes alike.

DISTRIBUTION

Myanmar, southern and central Thailand, Indochina, Philippine Islands, Kalimantan, Java, Bali, Lesser Sunda Islands, local in New Guinea, northwestern, northern, eastern, and southeastern Australia.

HABITAT

Open grassland with scattered bushes, salty marshes, and edges of cultivated fields.

BEHAVIOR

Perches on trees and wires. Song includes imitations of other birds; song-flight takes up to 40 minutes. Forms small groups outside breeding period. Migratory in southern Australia.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feeds on seeds and arthropods.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous. Builds domed nests in shelter of tussocks; in southern Australia, lays two to four eggs November through January.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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