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Calandrella brachydactyla

Calandrella brachydactyla
Photo Information
Copyright: Durzan Cirano (cirano) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-05-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300s, Sigma AF 50-500mm F4-6,3 APO EX DG HSM
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/640 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Mesopotamia [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2011-08-09 0:43
Viewed: 3940
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
he Greater Short-toed Lark (Calandrella brachydactyla) or sometimes just Short-toed Lark (but see below) is a small passerine bird. It breeds in southern Europe, northwest Africa, and across temperate Asia from Turkey and southern Russia to Mongolia. It is sometimes considered conspecific with Calandrella cinerea.[2][3] During migration they form large flocks that fly in synchrony and at other times they form loose flocks.

Several subspecies have been named but there is considerable geneflow and the species itself forms part of a larger complex. This is a small pale lark, smaller than the Skylark. It is dark-streaked greyish-brown above, and white below, and has a strong pointed bill that is pinkish with a gray culmen. It has a pale supercilium, dark patches on each side of its neck and a dark tail. Some birds in the west of the range have a rufous crown. The sexes are similar. Subspecies longipennis is paler than dukhunensis which also has a shorter bill.[2] In winter they fly in large and compact flocks that swing in synchrony.[4] Care must be taken to distinguish this species from other similar Calandrella larks, such as the Lesser Short-toed Lark, Calandrella rufescens.
The nominate form breeds in Europe (Iberia, France, Italy, the Balkans and Romania) and winters in Africa. Subspecies hungarica breeds in the eastern parts of Europe while rubiginosa breeds in northwestern Africa. Subspecies hermonensis (sometimes including woltersi) breeds in Turkey, Syria and Egypt. Subspecies artemisiana (considered by some to be synonymous with longipennis[5]) breeds in Asia Minor and winters in southern west Asia. Subspecies longipennis breeds in Ukraine, Mongolia and Manchuria and winters in South Asia mainly in the drier zone of northwestern India while dukhunensis breeds on the Tibetan plateau and winters mainly in peninsular India.[4]
The song varies between a dry twittering and a more varied and imitative melody. Flocks will often fly together to water in the mornings at favourite spots. In the evenings they roost in open ground, with each bird squatting in a small depression made in the soil.[

All but some southernmost populations are migratory, wintering south to the southern edge of the Sahara and India. This species is a fairly common wanderer to northern and western Europe in spring and autumn.[7] Populations breeding in the Iberian Peninsula winter south of the Sahara in Africa. Here they prefer crop land and dry pastures with short shrubs while the syntopic Lesser Short-toed Larks (calandrella rufescens) prefer drier areas.[8]
This is a common bird of dry open country and cultivation. It nests on the ground, laying two to three eggs. Its food is seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.
In Colonial India, they were hunted for food as Ortolan.[4]
They visit parts of South Asia in large flocks during winter and are sometimes attracted to short grass areas along aerodromes and become a bird strike risk to aircraft.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Alaudidae
Genus: Calandrella
Species: C. brachydactyla
Binomial name
Calandrella brachydactyla
(Leisler, 1814)


siggi, bungbing, PaulLees, Pitoncle, marius-secan, Alex99, maaciejka, joska, maurydv has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-08-09 1:14]

Hello Durzan.
Superb capture of a Greater Short-toed Lark.Very sharp with excellent BG and lighting, nice pose and good compo.Best regards Siggi

Hello Durzan,
Lovely shot of this bird with lovely pose, excellent blurred background, nice details sharpness and beautiful colours,
Thanks for sharing and have a nice day,
Best Regards,

Hi Durzan,

Well Durzan for a full blown 500mm's you have done exceptional well here my friend with no tripod presumably, sharp in the right area's, well exposed under the harsh lighting, love the pose that shows this guy off well, great work and well done,
Best regards,


Good photo, nice stance, interesting background and bird. regards yiannis

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2011-08-09 6:39]

Very fine portrait of this alert lark with good composition and viewpoint. tfs.

amazing camouflage, TSF Ori

Bonjour Durzan,
Très agréable valorisation du sujet sous une belle lumière et une bonne profondeur de champ.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

hello Durzan
very nice shot with good details and nice naturel colours
greeting lou

Selamlar Durzan bey, Bir an türü tanıyamadım,
Çok yakışıklı çıkmış.
Harika bir çalışm olmuş.
Ellerinize sağlık.

Hello Durzan
Beautiful pose and impressive photo. Very good composition, wonderful colours and good sharpness.

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2011-08-09 8:55]

very nice capture...excellent work!

Hello Durzan,
Outstanding clarity, details and focus as usual. It is a first class image of a lovely bird witch I don't meet in the wild.
Great composition with superb eye contact.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-08-09 9:35]

Hi Durzan,what a perfect head position to see the high hair crest! Magnificent pic and beautiful quality,perfect focus,sharpness and colors.Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-08-09 9:45]

Hi Durzan.
What a charming photo model, pleasant scene at whole and nice reproduction of the bird and its surroundings. Colour palette of the shot is also fine, Low POV and cropping are very impressive too. My compliments and TFS.

Hi Durzan,
very interesting photo of this bird. Great point of view. Nice natural colours. Nice composition.
Thanks for sharing,

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-08-09 11:00]

Hi Durzan,
Splendid photo of this interesting species, very rare by us, TFS!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-08-09 13:06]

Hello Dûrzan,
Excellent photo taken from a perfect low POV. Great sharpness, DOF and eye contact. Beautiful natural colours.

Hi Durzan.
Splendid shot of this cute little birdy!
Excellent POV, crispy sharp details, nice exposure and colors.

  • Great 
  • Medina (117)
  • [2011-08-11 12:08]

Desté te u diléte re spas:)))wéne yek heja ye...

Slav Durzan,
a very beautiful capture of the Greater Short-toed Lark taken from a very good low point of view, splendid natural colours, a very nice composition with a lovely posture of this beautiful bird
Best regards

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