Adult male is coal-black in worn plumage--unique amongst larks; in fresh plumage blackish feathers are edged in pale scaling. Female is duller and less distinctive: streaky gray-brown overall with a paler throat and belly and a stoutly pointed pinkish bill. Found in grassy steppe, particularly in areas interspersed with scattered shrubbery or wet patches; generally does not use agricultural lands, but can be found in association with domesticated livestock in the winter. Forages on the ground and flocks during colder months. Song is a long-winded series of drawn-out whistles, warbles, and chatters. Calls include various buzzy and squeaky notes.