Primary School Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

Dylan Lewis Y7 from Mahurangi College, Warkworth, being presented with the ..

Supporters of Tiritiri Inc and Fullers 360 Science Conservation 2020 Award

Date posted: 18-Dec-2020

The NIWA Auckland City Science and Technology Fair winner of the Supporters of Tiritiri ..

2020 Conservation Week

Date posted: 12-Aug-2020

Meet the Takahē on Tiritiri Matangi Island When: 1:30 pm, ..

AGM 2020

Date posted: 25-Jul-2020

PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF DATE TO WEDNESDAY 21ST OCTOBER 2020 due to Covid restrictions at t..

Ferry Resuming July 4th!

Date posted: 01-Jun-2020

Great News!!! We have confirmation Fuller360 ferry service to Tiritiri Matangi wi..

The 2020 Photo Competition Winners

Date posted: 22-May-2020

Here are the winning and commended photos from this year's competition. Congratulations to the photo..

Celebrate the Takahe Art Competition

Date posted: 08-Apr-2020

Hi Tiri Kids, It’s TakahÄ“ Awareness Month! Everyone loves our takah..

COVID-19 Important Information

Date posted: 25-Mar-2020

The government has announced that New Zealand is now at alert level 2 for COVID-19. Th..

2019 Winner Primary School Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Ethan Raymond

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Ethan has helped the Enviro-Warriors in many ways such as planning, gard..

2019 Winner Y8-Y13 NIWA Supporters of Tiritiri and Fullers 360 Science Award is Abby Haezelwood

Date posted: 11-Mar-2020

Abby Haezelwood with her winning Science Exhibit on Plastic Beaches at the NIWA Taihoro Nuk..


Scientific name:

 Alauda arvensis



Conservation status:

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally abundant


 18cm, 38g


 Not known in NZ, in Europe one was recorded at 8 yrs


 September - February


 Seeds, supplemented with invertebrates

Skylark - photographer Dr Kerry RodgersAt least 1000 skylarks were introduced into New Zealand between 1864 and 1875 and they quickly became well established throughout the country. They are now very common in open country, farmland, tussock grassland, sand dunes and sub-alpine herb fields.

This dull, yellow-buff bird is streaked and spotted brown on the upperparts and breast. The adult has a small crest, raised when alert.  In flight the white outer tail feathers and white trailing edge to the broad wings can be seen. During territorial flight displays between August and January, the male soars high and slowly descends, all the time singing a continuous trilling song. The other call is a liquid 'chirrup' usually made in flight.

Skylark - photographer Dr Kerry RodgersThe diet is mainly seeds of grass, cereals, sedges, clover and weeds. This is supplemented with invertebrates such as beetles, flies, spiders, bugs and larvae of flies, beetles and moths. Skylarks can cause damage to crops, feeding on newly-sown seeds and pulling up seedlings.

Some pairs remain on territory all year and breed together year after year. The female builds a neat grass-lined cup nest in a small depression in the ground, often concealed by an overhanging clump of grass, rush or tussock.  Between September and January, 2-3 clutches of 2-5 greyish eggs, heavily speckled with brown, are laid. The female incubates for around 11 days and both parents feed the nestlings. They leave the nest at 9-10 days old but do not fly until around 20 days old. The young breed at one year old.

Skylarks are not common on Tiritiri Matangi, but in spring the males can be seen and heard singing and displaying over open grassy areas such as Coronary Hill.

Find out more about the skylark at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Dr Kerry Rodgers ©

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking. Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.