A photo of a Sand Lark (Alaudala raytal)
Sand Lark

Sand Lark

Alaudala raytal

The sand lark (Alaudala raytal) is a small passerine bird in the lark family, Alaudidae, found in southern Asia. It is somewhat similar, but smaller than the short-toed larks. The sand lark is about 12 or 13 cm long. There is considerable geographic variation and three subspecies are recognized. All subspecies are dull brownish grey with faintly streaked upperparts and appears distinctly short-tailed with a fine bill. The bill length varies geographically short and stubby in the western part and long and fine tipped in the eastern part of its range. Subspecies krishnakumarsinhji found around Bhavnagar in Gujarat is greyer above with broad dark streaks on the upper plumage and breast. The lores and supercilium are white as is the area under the eye and the entire underside. The whitish breast has fine streaks in the subspecies other than krishnakumarsinhji and the streaking on the upperparts is faint. The nominate subspecies is found across the Gangetic plains and extends into southern Burma. Subspecies adamsi of West Asia (Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan) and parts of northwest India is paler. The species name raytal is derived from the Hindi name of retal which is derived from réth, the word for sand.
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