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Saturday, 8 March 2014

Saturday Rave: skylarks.

Here in England, the skylarks are singing.

They're chunky little birds, brown, about 16 - 18 centimetres long.

Their scientific name is Alauda arvensis, and you can find them across most of Europe and Asia, in the mountains of north Africa, in Hawaii, Alaska, western North America, eastern Australia and New Zealand.

Oh, and the Japanese Skylark is now usually considered a subspecies.

Wherever it is, it sings. In the spring it hovers between fifty and a hundred metres above the ground and sings its heart out for minutes at a time.

What it is saying is look at me, look at me! I'm the fittest bird in the fields. You must want me to be the father of your chicks. Look at me!

And, guess what? It works. Female skylarks do prefer the skylarks  who can sing for the longest. 

There may be more to the skylark's song than that, of course. It may be singing of the beauty of soft brown feathers and the sweetness of married life. It may be praising the sun or glorying in the beauty of a well-ploughed field.

It may be saying look out! More of those dratted humans listening in on my love songs!

All I know is that, whatever the other skylarks understand of what a skylark has to say, for myself it lifts my heart and fills me with joy.

Word To Use Today...actually, how about trying a bit of cheery whistling? Lark comes from the Old English lāwerce.


  1. I would dearly love to hear that beautiful singing here right about now.
    We just had 2 weeks of temps in the -20s, and then today, when it finally warmed up, we got 2 1/2 feet of snow - so far!
    All the birds are long in hiding,
    the tree branches are sagging,
    And very soon, the power lines will be down.
    Do send us some skylarks,
    we need their sweet whistling,
    Perhaps they'll remove my frown.

    (With apologies to poets/authors worldwide! :) )

    1. No, Jingles, that's pretty much the verse-equivalent of a brave whistle. Thank you!
      I'll think of you and your dictionaries, muffled under all that snow, and I'll hope that this time the power lines hold out until the thaw.

    2. You're too nice Sally!
      That was obviously a shameful booze-induced attempt at verse on my behalf!
      I was also suffering from cabin fever, still am actually, so beware!
      We do have power again though! :)

  2. You and Shelley both! Lovely post! Love the skylark and the clip with his song on really does lift the heart. Thanks!

  3. I shall have to see if I can spot a Skylark singing in a West Wind and go the whole Bysshe.


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