AGM 2019

Date posted: 09-Sep-2019

Our Annual General Meeting was held at 7:30 pm on Monday 23rd September at the F..

More plaudits for Tiritiri Matangi

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

Recognition of the wonderful experience visitors have when visiting the Island h..

Results of the 2019 Photo Competition

Date posted: 15-Jul-2019

The results of this year's competition have now been decided. Click here (/2019-photo-co..

Lighthouse Open Day

Date posted: 30-Apr-2019

Our historic lighthouse, signal station and diaphonic foghorn will all be on dis..

We need a new Treasurer

Date posted: 08-Apr-2019

The Supporters need a new treasurer to take over in September when Kevin Vaughan..

2019 Concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2019

OrigiNZ, the tartan taonga are returning for the 2019 concert. Click..

Tiri's three unique foghorns

Date posted: 01-Feb-2019

Our next social event will take place on Monday 18th March when Carl Hayson and ..

Young Conservation Superstars win awards!

Date posted: 27-Jan-2019

Gabriel Barbosa and teacher Kate Asher, a team leader who co..

Entries for the 2019 photo competition

Date posted: 19-Jan-2019

We are now taking entries for the 2019 photographic competition. You can enter u..

Hihi volunteer needed

Date posted: 18-Oct-2018

Would you like to volunteer with the Island's hihi team and learn from them how ..

Skylark

Scientific name:

 Alauda arvensis

 

 

Conservation status:

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Widespread and locally abundant

Size:

 18cm, 38g

Lifespan:

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

Breeding:

 September - February

Diet:

 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.