Sykes’s Lark Galderida deva
- Galerida : Latin word for Lark with a crest derived from galea – helmet
- Deva : Hindi word for Gods
Vernacular Names: Guj: Chandul, Nano chandul, Te: Chinna chandul, Mar: Sykescha Turewala chandole
Distribution in India: Resident of West and Central India.
Description: Size of 14 cm. It is a small lark with prominent spiky crest rather inconspicuous when folded, mostly buff plumage, medium-long stout bill, shortish tail. It has buffish supercilium, buffish ear-coverts with some dark streaking mainly at rear, moderately distinct or indistinct dark loral stripe; crown and upperparts are brownish-buff, heavily and contrastingly streaked blackish-brown, uppertail-coverts are light rufous with little or no streaking; wings and tail are blackish-brown or dark grey-brown, upperwing-coverts have buff fringes. The penultimate rectrix is with mostly warm buff outer edge and often tip of inner web, outermost tail feather is with warm buff wedge on inner web. The entire underparts are warm buff or rufous-buff, breast with sparse thin dark streaks, mainly on sides. The underwing is extensively pale rufous; upper mandible mainly medium or dark grey, lower mandible pale pinkish; legs are pale pinkish. Both the sexes are alike in plumage, female on average smaller than male. The juvenile differs in having prominent whitish feather tips above, giving scaly or white-spotted appearance.
Habitat: It is found in dry, stony areas with sparse scrubby vegetation, dry cultivation, and similar habitat. It is found up to 1000 m.
Food habits: It eats seeds and invertebrates. It forages on ground, singly, in pairs or in small loose flocks; walks and runs; takes items mostly from ground surface.
Breeding habits: They breed in Mar to Sept. The male performs high, sustained song flight with rather slowly flapping wings. The nest is a small cup of grass and rootlets with finer lining, in scrape on ground, sheltered by stone or tuft of grass. They lay a clutch of 2–3 eggs.