Turkestan Short-toed Lark Alaudala heinei

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A small pale lark with a short, finch-like bill. Usually seen foraging on the ground in open country with shrubs, grasses, and extensive bare soil, often in sandy areas. Stays low to the ground and runs quickly. The extremely variable song is made up of a long series of phrases containing a mix of many different types of notes, often including imitations of other bird species. Sings longer song phrases than Mediterranean Short-toed Lark, with longer pauses between them. Visually, can be difficult to separate from Greater Short-toed Lark; best features are the heavily streaked breast and flanks and the lack of a well-defined eyebrow. Also extremely similar to Mediterranean and Asian Short-toed Larks. Separation in overlap zones is difficult and poorly understood, and is complicated by both geographic and individual variation. Slightly smaller, darker brownish, and more streaked than Asian Short-toed Lark, with slightly less pointed wings and slightly less white on the outer tail feathers. Slightly less rufous overall than Mediterranean Short-toed Lark, with narrower streaks on the breast. Also similar to Sand Lark, but slightly larger and more streaked on the back, with a shorter and thicker bill.



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