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..

The Tiritiri Concert

Date posted: 11-Feb-2020

Folk on the Water The 2020 Tiritiri Matangi Conce..

2020 Photo competition now open

Date posted: 15-Jan-2020

This year's photo competition is now open for entries. Please click here (/m..

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..

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.