Each week I’m posting a Chirpy Chirp Challenge, listening to different bird calls.
Today we’re listening to the skylark.
Last week we listened to the song thrush. How did you get on recognising its calls? I’d be interested to hear from you!
All you’ll need to join in is a piece of paper and a pencil.
Clothes and behaviour
The male (Mr) and female (Mrs) look the same; they have a crest which they can raise in alarm or warning.
Skylarks’ streaked appearance enables them to be camouflaged in longer grass – on our local golfcourse you can see a number of them.
They mainly eat seeds, but also insects.
If disturbed they might flit along just above the ground and land a bit further away, or they might rise straight up in the air, belting out their song as they hover overhead, a bit like a kite, trying to ward you off their territory, like this:
They will continue to sing as they descend, often plummeting to earth like a stone.
Skylarks make a round nest on the ground, using the materials around them – grass and sometimes hair. The female incubates the eggs. Once the chicks have matured they have to learn to be quick fliers as they are easy prey for hungry predators.
Skylarks are called leverocks in scots and their song can be heard on open grassland from early spring. It does not matter if it’s blawin a hooley, skylarks will still rise up into the air, jubilantly sing-shouting their repetitive song over and over.
If you can access your local golfcourse or nearby open grassland, listen out for this:
Write ‘Skylark’ at the top of your paper and below it write ‘song’.
Challenge – what words would you use to describe the song?
Now see if you can write or draw the pattern of how the call sounds to you. There’s a few questions below to help you.
Can you hear any repeats of the song? If you think of each bit as a ‘sentence’, answer the following:
Do some notes stay on the same level like this – – – – – – -?
When do they go up and when down? Do you hear it as a wave – moving up to a point and then back down? Or is there another way you can describe it?
If you try and clap the rhythm, what do you get?
There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s just to help you remember the sounds.
Remember, the more you listen, the easier it becomes!
Here’s more info about the skylark: https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/skylark/
See you next week 🙂