Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus)


French: Moinelette croisée German: Grauscheitellerche Spanish: Terrera coronigrís

Alauda grisea


, 1786,

no locality = Gingee, South Arcot district, Tamil Nadu, India


Apparently most closely related to E. nigriceps and E. signatus#R. Birds of N India sometimes recognized as race siccatus, on basis of being paler; and those of Sri Lanka as ceylonensis, with colder, greyer upperparts, and larger bill, than those in S India#R. Treated as monotypic.


Pakistan (R Indus Plains), and from S Himalayan foothills E to E Bangladesh and S to S tip of India, also Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

11–12 cm. Small, sexually dimorphic lark with appearance superficially like that of a finch (Fringillidae). Adult male has pale greyish-brown forehead and crown (... read more


Song, mainly in high flight, also from ground or low perch, strophes of quickly repeated short... read more


Dry open habitats with scattered low vegetation, from sea-level to c. 1000 m. Generally completely... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly studied: diet seeds, e.g. of grasses and forbs (Chenopodiaceae), and insects, e.g. small beetles (Coleoptera). Forages on ground. read more


Little studied. Breeds more or less throughout year, but mainly Feb–Sept in peninsular India and May–Jun in Sri Lanka; probably... read more


Sedentary or slightly nomadic.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. No population estimates. Present in numerous protected areas, e.g. Ranthambhore Sanctuary (India) and Kosi Tappu Wildlife Reserve (... read more

Recommended citation

Alström, P. (2020). Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark (Eremopterix griseus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 February 2020).