Family Larks (Alaudidae)

Least Concern

Tibetan Lark (Melanocorypha maxima)


French: Alouette du Tibet German: Sumpflerche Spanish: Calandria tibetana

Melanocorypha maxima


, 1867,

borders of Sikkim


Geographical variation relatively insignificant. Proposed races include kashmirica (E Kashmir), flavescens (W Nan Shan, Gansu), holdereri (Gansu) and subgrisea (NE Qinghai). Monotypic.


Tibetan Plateau from NW India E to C China (NE Qinghai, Gansu & NW Sichuan).

Descriptive notes

c. 21–22 cm; up to 75 g. Distinctive; the largest and most bulky Eurasian lark, with rather long, comparatively slender, slightly decurved bill, broad longish wings,... read more


Song, from ground or in flight, rich and varied, rather slow-flowing, often includes mimicry of... read more


Usually found in grassy, somewhat wet areas, such as marshlands by lakes and rivers. Generally... read more

Food and feeding

Diet poorly known: seeds, tender leaves, berries and invertebrates taken. Forages on ground.


Little studied. Season Apr–Jul/early Aug; two broods. Male song flight at low or high altitude, with rather slow wingbeats, often... read more


Sedentary or dispersive.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. A relatively poorly known species; no population estimates.

Recommended citation

Alström, P. (2020). Tibetan Lark (Melanocorypha maxima). 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 22 February 2020).