Lark: Wikis

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Larks
Skylark (Alauda arvensis)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Suborder: Passeri
Family: Alaudidae
Vigors, 1825
Genera

Larks are passerine birds of the family Alaudidae. All species occur in the Old World, and in northern and eastern Australia; only one, the Shore Lark, has spread to North America, where it is called the Horned Lark. Habitats vary widely, but many species live in dry regions.

Contents

Description

Larks are small to medium-sized birds, 12 to 24 cm (5 to 8 inches) in length and 15 to 75 grams (0.5 to 2.6 ounces) in weight (Kikkawa 2003).

They have more elaborate calls than most birds, and often extravagant songs given in display flight (Kikkawa 2003). These melodious sounds (to human ears), combined with a willingness to expand into anthropogenic habitats — as long as these are not too intensively managed — have ensured larks a prominent place in literature and music, especially the Skylark in northern Europe and the Crested Lark and Calandra Lark in southern Europe.

With these song flights, males defend their breeding territories and attract mates. Most species build nests on the ground, usually cups of dead grass, but in some species more complicated and partly domed. A few desert species nest very low in bushes, perhaps so circulating air can cool the nest. Larks' eggs are usually speckled, and clutch sizes range from 2 (especially in species of the driest deserts) to 6 (in species of temperate regions). Larks incubate for 11 to 16 days (Kikkawa 2003).

Like many ground birds, most lark species have long hind claws, which are thought to provide stability while standing. Most have streaked brown plumage, some boldly marked with black or white. Their dull appearance camouflages them on the ground, especially when on the nest. They feed on insects and seeds; though adults of most species eat seeds primarily, all species feed their young insects for at least the first week after hatching. Many species dig with their bills to uncover food. Some larks have heavy bills (reaching an extreme in the Thick-billed Lark) for cracking seeds open, while others have long, down-curved bills, which are especially suitable for digging (Kikkawa 2003).

Larks are the only passerines that lose all their feathers in their first moult (in all species whose first moult is known). This may result from the poor quality of the chicks' feathers, which in turn may result from the benefits to the parents of switching the young to a lower-quality diet (seeds), which requires less work from the parents (Kikkawa 2003).

In many respects, including long tertial feathers, larks resemble other ground birds such as pipits. However, in larks the tarsus (the lowest leg bone, connected to the toes) has only one set of scales on the rear surface, which is rounded. Pipits and all other songbirds have two plates of scales on the rear surface, which meet at a protruding rear edge (Ridgway 1907).

Relationships

Larks are a well-defined family, partly because of the shape of the tarsus (Ridgway 1907). They were long placed at or near the beginning of the songbirds or oscines (now often called Passeri), just after the suboscines and before the swallows, for example in the American Ornithologists' Union's first check-list (American Ornithologists' Union 1886, according to Patterson 2002). Some authorities, such as the British Ornithologists' Union (Dudley et al. 2006) and the Handbook of the Birds of the World, adhere to that placement. However, many other classifications follow the Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy in placing the larks in a large oscine subgroup Passerida (which excludes crows, shrikes and their allies, vireos, and many groups characteristic of Australia and southeastern Asia). For instance, the American Ornithologists' Union places larks just after the crows, shrikes, and vireos. At a finer level of detail, some now place the larks at the beginning of a superfamily Sylvioidea with the swallows, various "Old World warbler" and "babbler" groups, and others (Barker et al. 2002, Alström et al. 2006).

Larks as food

Larks have historically been considered wholesome, delicate, and light game.[1][2] They can be used in a number of delectable dishes, for example, they can be stewed, broiled, or used as filling in a meat pie. Lark's tongues were particularly highly valued. In modern times, shrinking habitats made lark meat rare and hard to come by, though it can still be found in restaurants in Italy and elsewhere in Southern Europe.[3]

Species in taxonomic order

FAMILY: ALAUDIDAE

See also

References

External links

  1. ^ "Lark Pie (an Entree)". http://www.vintagerecipes.net/books/bookofhouseholdmanagement/lark_pie_an_entree.php. 
  2. ^ "Larks And Lark Pies". http://chestofbooks.com/food/recipes/Party-Catering/Larks-And-Lark-Pies.html. 
  3. ^ "Cat, dormouse and other Italian recipes". http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/17/cat-dormouse-italian-recipes. 
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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Larks article)

From Wikiquote

Hark! hark! the lark

A lark is a kind of bird.

Sourced

  • Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate
  • Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,
    And Phoebus 'gins arise,
  • Hail to thee, blithe spirit!
    Bird thou never wert—
    That from heaven or near it
    Pourest thy full heart
    In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
  • There was an Old Man with a beard,
    Who said, "It is just as I feared! --
    Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
    Have all built their nests in my beard.
  • The year's at the spring
    And day's at the morn;
    Morning's at seven;
    The hillside's dew-pearled;
    The lark's on the wing;
    The snail's on the thorn;
    God's in his heaven--
    All's right with the world!
  • Here of a Sunday morning
    My love and I would lie,
    And see the coloured counties,
    And hear the larks so high
    About us in the sky.
  • Skylark,
    Have you seen a valley green with Spring
    Where my heart can go a-journeying,
    Over the shadows in the rain
    To a blossom covered lane?
    And in your lonely flight,
    Haven't you heard the music in the night,
    Wonderful music,
    Faint as a will-o-the-wisp,
    Crazy as a loon,
    Sad as a gypsy serenading the moon.
  • Hark, hark! the lark
    On windswept bark
    Freezes against a sky of lead!
    Now see him stop,
    Take one small hop,
    And suddenly keel over dead!

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010
(Redirected to The Lark article)

From Wikisource

The Lark
by Robert W. Service
Collected in Rhymes of a Red-Cross Man

The Lark

From wrath-red dawn to wrath-red dawn,
      The guns have brayed without abate;
And now the sick sun looks upon
      The bleared, blood-boltered fields of hate
As if it loathed to rise again.
      How strange the hush! Yet sudden, hark!
From yon down-trodden gold of grain,
      The leaping rapture of a lark.

A fusillade of melody,
      That sprays us from yon trench of sky;
A new amazing enemy
      We cannot silence though we try;
A battery on radiant wings,
      That from yon gap of golden fleece
Hurls at us hopes of such strange things
      As joy and home and love and peace.

Pure heart of song! do you not know
      That we are making earth a hell?
Or is it that you try to show
      Life still is joy and all is well?
Brave little wings! Ah, not in vain
      You beat into that bit of blue:
Lo! we who pant in war's red rain
      Lift shining eyes, see Heaven too.


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also lark

Contents

English

Proper noun

Singular
Lark

Plural
-

Lark

  1. A surname from lark as a byname or for a catcher and seller of larks.
  2. A patronymic surname shortened from Larkin, a medieval diminutive of Laurence.
  3. A male given name occasionally transferred from the surnames.
  4. A female given name from the lark bird.

Quotations

  • 1989 Faith Sullivan, The Cape Ann, Penguin 1989, ISBN 0140119795, page 2
    Mama had chosen the name Lark. Lark Browning Erhardt. Papa had wanted to call me Beverly Mary; Mary after the Blessed Virgin. Mama said she wouldn't hang a name like Beverly Mary on a pet skunk. Where she got the idea for Lark, I don't know, though one time when I asked, she said that larks flew high and had a happy song.

Anagrams

  • Anagrams of aklr
  • Karl

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