Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Malabar Lark (Galerida malabarica)


French: Cochevis de Malabar German: Malabarlerche Spanish: Cogujada malabar
Other common names: Malabar Crested Lark, Short-crested Lark

Alauda malabarica


, 1786,

China; error = Malabar Coast, western India


Often considered conspecific with G. theklae, but proof of close relationship lacking; differs from G. cristata by its shorter, deeper, straighter bill (allow 2); mostly blackish upper mandible (2); heavier streaking above (1); and smaller size (independent of bill size; allow 2); moreover, possibly parapatric with cristata in N of range (area of near-contact between the two forms worth studying for evidence of cline, which might alter specific rank accorded here). Named race propinqua, known only from Londa district (Bombay), considered indistinguishable from other populations. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

SW India S from SE Gujarat.

Descriptive notes

c. 16 cm. Medium-sized, fairly sturdy lark with prominent spiky crest (rather inconspicuous when folded), quite deep-based medium-long bill, fairly short tail. Has moderately... read more


Song, in flight or, more commonly, from ground or low perch, comparatively slow, rich and varied, a... read more


Dry open habitats, preferably with some scrub and rocks, e.g. agricultural land, grass-covered... read more

Food and feeding

Diet poorly known; apparently seeds and invertebrates, e.g. orthopterans, beetles (Coleoptera), ants (Formicidae). Forages on ground,... read more


Breeds in all months, with possible exception of wettest ones (Jun–Jul). Song-flighting male hangs more or less still or flies about... read more


Sedentary or dispersive.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common to common. No estimates of population size or breeding densities.

Recommended citation

Alström, P. (2019). Malabar Lark (Galerida malabarica). 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 8 December 2019).